Sacred Heart Mission is pleased with the Albanese Government’s announcement of the National Housing Accord in the 2022-2023 Federal Budget.
It is a promising step forward in addressing the under supply of affordable and social housing, with the Federal Government indicating it will be working with states and territories, alongside the construction sector and institutional investors, to achieve this significant and critical commitment.
Sacred Heart Mission looks forward to learning more about the details of the National Housing Accord and the timeframe to deliver and build these properties.
With construction not estimated to commence until mid-2024, this is a long wait for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who are struggling with the rising costs of living and are at increased risk of experiencing homelessness, alongside those currently without housing.
With support from State Governments, the commitment to build 40,000 social and affordable dwellings is promising, but this investment alone will not sufficiently address the shortage of social housing supply across Australia.
“We need at least 25,000 social housing dwellings to be built per year for the next 10 years to ensure everyone has a safe place to call home,” Sacred Heart Mission CEO Cathy Humphrey says.
It is disappointing that the Government has not taken the opportunity to raise income support payments, at a time when prices of essential goods and services are skyrocketing. People on Jobseeker receive a meagre $48 per day, and over 3 million Australians currently live in poverty.
“Without an increase to income support payments to at least $73 per day, and increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance, homelessness and poverty will continue to escalate,” Cathy says.
We remain concerned by the rising costs of energy, particularly for people on the lowest incomes who reside in poor quality housing that is insufficiently insulated and who are having significant difficulty heating and cooling their homes.
Though the Government has followed through with its election commitment to renewable energy, these are long-term goals. The current energy crisis needs immediate solutions, and we look forward to the Government taking steps to address energy poverty in Australia.
We were pleased to see the Government’s investment of $560m in community services, and in aged care, particularly given the current rising inflation levels, this will help facilitate the sector’s ability to provide essential services to those who need them.
We look forward to continuing our work with the government on investing in the community services sector, alongside scaling evidence-based solutions that address homelessness.
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