No increase is acceptable

More than 5,000 children were without a house on Census night in 2016 says ABS data released today.

2016 census figures released by the ABS today show that homelessness has risen nine per cent in Queensland between 2011 and 2016. 

“Any increase in homelessness is unacceptable,” said Mark Henley, Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO.  “There are more than 21,500 people who are homeless every night in Queensland.

“This number is made up of somebody’s mother, sister, uncle or brother. And nearly one quarter are children under 18.  

“We must also consider more broadly that increasing homelessness is a marker of increasing poverty in our community.

“We know that stable housing positively influences the welfare of households, and is foundational for health and wellbeing, education, employment, economic and social participation outcomes. Without a home all of this is undermined.

“We believe that everyone has a right to shelter. Yet not all Queenslanders have access to stable, affordable and sustainable housing.

“There is an irony to these figures being released as the Turnbull Government is walking away from funding the National Partnership on Rural and Remote Housing.  Funding that in Queensland will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities improve housing, reduce overcrowding and homelessness.

“In fact, there has been no certainty in funding to address homelessness through National Partnerships (partnerships where the Australian Government and State Government contribute equally) for many years. 

“If we are going to make any difference we need to be making a long-term commitment.  This is an issue that won’t be solved in an election cycle!”

Leone Crayden, Executive Director for Q Shelter, announced the updated figures at a housing and homelessness sector CEO network forum today.

Leone said the statistics showed that vulnerable people were more likely to be experiencing homelessness.

“These figures show a growing proportion of younger people and older people entering homelessness” Ms Crayden said.

“The increase of homelessness in Queensland was discussed by the senior leaders in the housing and homelessness sector today, and what steps we will take to reduce these alarming numbers.”

The CEO Network Forum comprised of representatives from across the state to develop policy and frameworks to address the issue of homelessness for older and younger people and the effect of the end of the regional partnership on remote housing.

ENDS

Media enquiries to Karen Murphy 0423 245 252.

This number is made up of somebody’s mother, sister, uncle or brother. And nearly one quarter are children under 18.