Homeless people should not be used as pawns

QCOSS Media Release             26 October 2017

Homeless people should not be used as pawns

The Australian Government has put the wellbeing of thousands of homeless people at risk by their proposed approach to housing funding and homelessness.

Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is horrified at the unfolding events which could see homelessness and social housing funding linked to agreement from state government on issues of land release and urban planning.

“The scope of this new plan is huge and it seems there was no consultation with the state or sector about these sweeping changes,” said Mark Henley, QCOSS CEO.

“The agreement that is going to be negotiated tomorrow should expand and improve social housing for people on low-incomes and lead to certainty for homelessness services not put these very services and people at risk.”

This significant set of changes are only just now being considered, with current funding due to expire on 30 June 2018.  Services require certainty well before this time.  Any delays in finalising the revised funding arrangement will put service delivery, and therefore people’s lives, at risk.  Given the track record of these negotiations in the past, it is difficult to see that this deadline will met.

QCOSS is urging the Federal Government to abandon the Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017 in its current form, and resume negotiations with the states in good faith.

“It is imperative that governments work together to support Australians not undermine them for their own purposes.”

For more than 55 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage. With members from throughout Queensland, QCOSS supports a strong community service sector.

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview with
Mark Henley, contact Karen Murphy 0423 245 252