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Submissions sought: House committee to examine homelessness in Australia

More than 116,000 people were estimated to be homeless in Australia on Census night in 2016. Among them were people living in severely crowded dwellings, people living in temporary accommodation, and rough sleepers.

To examine this issue, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into homelessness in Australia.

Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, said the inquiry would seek to understand the factors that contribute to people becoming homeless, identify opportunities to prevent homelessness, and examine ways to better support the homeless and those at risk.

‘Sadly, each night in Australia there are tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness. We know that there are many pathways that can lead to homelessness, and through this inquiry we are hoping to understand how we can better support those who face it, and help some of the most vulnerable in our community’, Mr Wallace said.

‘There is a range of services available to support people who are homeless or at risk, and the Committee is particularly interested in hearing from communities around Australia about approaches that are working well, and ideas for improvement.’

The Committee will accept written submissions until 9 April 2020. Further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available on the inquiry webpage. Information about making a submission is available on the Parliament of Australia webpage.

Office of Mr Andrew Wallace, Chair of Committee
Mr Simon Thwaites
0439 972 667

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 2358

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can, read submissions, find details of upcoming public hearings, and subscribe to receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.


"People don't like development in their area so it's the politics of NIMBY-ism that is preventing us from providing enough housing " This statement from a Grattan Institute spokesman followed footage of a 72 year old man walking his dog past a humungous multi -story development under construction complete with associated noise and cranes etc. Then we went to his house a 2 storey terrace in Sydney- which we were told was bought a few decades ago and is now worth over $800,000 and he has a $300,000 mortgage, possibly to fund his retirement. Grattan Institute person looked forward to the day when people unlocked the equity in their houses to fund retirement (because they are worth so much) - making it sound oh so sensible .
It was not mentioned that people his age were paying for houses on much lower salaries and with much higher interest rates. At least they showed one female in her late sixties who had only just managed to buy a timber bungalow in Kangaroo Valley- her first home.
They also referred to Australians' "obsession" with the back yard. It's not an obsession but a preference, a desire. and something that was attainable in the past .In fact one of the contributors to the segment pointed out that in the past rich people AND poorer people could afford housing and that this is no longer the case.
I also note land tax being mentioned on this program and others instead of stamp duty. The former tends to keep people in situ and the latter will have the effect of moving people on as they get rated /taxed out of their properties.
The ABC seems to be preparing us for a future where we will all be renters. Once older people have used up the equity in their houses for living expenses there will not be a house to leave to their children.

Looks like we are on the road to being dispossessed.

I am one of the Renter underclass. The 7.30 series that you ran this week was biased and extremely cruel to someone like myself. I pay higher than average rent so am luckier than those lower down on the income spectrum, although I live extremely frugally. The problem is that because I don't yet have a deposit for a home loan, which I could easily be paying off instead of rent I am locked out of the property market while filling the pockets of my wealthy overseas landlord. Due to my mature age I may never have secure housing and the risk of homelessness is a glaring reality for me. You did not mention overpopulation as one of the major causes of high property prices. I'm not surprised because the ABC, as far as I can see, has a policy of never uttering the O word. Secondly why is it fair that someone who already has a home can be helped by the government to build their private wealth while those of us in the underclass are hindered from attaining housing security and endure every privation that accompanies that situation?
The property developers build housing and make sure that the government allows hundreds of thousands of non humanitarian immigrants in each year so that property prices don't fall. Furthermore one of your guests accused certain people of nimbyism. That is unjust. Many people who oppose overdevelopment and the environmental and social damage that it causes oppose overdevelopment everywhere. Another of your guests said that high rise buildings are the answer to more affordable housing because they are more environmentally friendly due to their smaller foot print and they are better socially. Wrong, high rise buildings are more energy intensive and damage the environment. Socially, they generally isolate residents from one another. The ABC needs to be more balanced in it's reporting because the consequence of being narrow in who you represent allows injustices to continue. Talking about overpopulation is not racist as is explained in Katherine Betts' book "The Great Divide".