How ‘The Monitor’ can help end homelessness
Disclaimer: If you only have 5 minutes then here’s what you need to know about the causes and solutions to homelessness in Australia.
You may have heard we recently released the first Australian Homelessness Monitor 2018 (The Monitor). The Monitor is an independent analysis of homelessness in Australia and we commissioned it to analyse the changing scale and nature of homelessness and more importantly to find out the social, economic and policy drivers.
As we near Homelessness Week starting 6 August it’s important raise awareness for people experiencing homelessness as well as recognise that it’s a community issue that all Victorians play a part in solving. Collectively we can petition the state and federal government to fix the housing system and create more affordable housing for Australians.
The Monitor revealed the complex causes of homelessness including:
(1) the changing scope and pattern of homelessness
(2) the nature of broader social and economic drivers that condition the risk of homelessness, especially for some groups such as low-income households, and
(3) the relevance of policy at federal, state and territory levels in helping or exacerbating the problem.
The Monitor also found that housing policies, income support policies and policies that support homelessness programs play particular importance in finding solutions.
Here are the Key Findings
The Monitor showed that homelessness in Australia is getting worse and outpacing Australian population growth. ABS Census estimates show overall that Australian homelessness has risen by some 14% in the five years to 2016.
It also found that people sleeping rough are increasing with a total of 8,200 recorded at the time of the ABS Census 2016. That’s a disturbing 20% increase since 2011.
Also, did you know that Indigenous Australians are overrepresented? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are 10x more likely to experience homelessness.
For people experiencing homelessness the Monitor also highlighted that severe overcrowding is the largest group and that older Australians are particularly vulnerable.
We discovered that there’s an increased demand for homelessness specialist services as well as the main reasons for seeking assistance are changing. People who requested help from homelessness services increase during this period 22% from 2011-2016. We now know that the main reason for seeking housing services is because Australians are escaping domestic and/or family violence. The second reason is a lack of affordable housing.
The Monitor revealed that Australia’s housing crisis is getting worse and state and federal governments are not doing enough to solve the structural causes of homelessness.
We’ve witnessed a policy failure to invest adequately in the supply of affordable and social housing across Australia. At the state and federal level the policy stance reflects a reliance on the market to provide affordable housing which is the key driver of rising homelessness in Australia. Ultimately, it is affordable housing policy inaction that has been a critical contributor to the problem.
How you can help
We can end homelessness together and you can help us advocate for change. For Homelessness Week this year we request that Victorian communities help us build lasting change and you can do this by sharing this article with the #HW2018 and Sign the Everybody’s Home Petition Now for housing solutions for all Australians.
To support Launch Housing’s innovative programs and initiative Donate Now.