The Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness held its eighteenth meeting, in Melbourne on 30 April 2013.
National Housing Supply Council
The Council was pleased to welcome Dr Owen Donald, Chair of the National Housing Supply Council, to discuss the relationship between severe crowding as a form of homelessness, and housing supply and affordability. Council members were especially interested to hear about the factors and evidence around the availability of housing stock and the impact this might have on future vulnerability of Australians to homelessness.
Homelessness evidence base
The Council received an update on the Connecting the Dots: Service Delivery Pathways and Homelessness study that is jointly managed by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Department of Human Services, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This is a rich data set that will provide a more comprehensive picture of the pathways of people vulnerable to, or experiencing, homelessness than has previously been available.
Indigenous people who are vulnerable to, or experiencing, homelessness can have specific needs, and consideration of their unique and cultural requirements is essential. The Council was pleased to hear that the Australian Bureau of Statistics has established a Round Table on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics. Harnessing such a wealth of community based knowledge and grassroots engagement with Indigenous people will be invaluable for matters related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics.
The Council also welcomed an update on the 2016 Census methodology consultation process and looks forward to providing input to this to ensure that it best addresses the enumeration of people experiencing homelessness.
2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards
Following their meeting, Council members were pleased to attend the 2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards. This important event recognises the outstanding contributions that community organisations and services make to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Twenty-three outstanding organisations were announced as finalists in recognition of their tireless work to prevent and tackle homelessness. Awards were presented by the Hon Mark Butler MP and the Hon Melissa Parke MP at a celebratory lunchtime event at the Melbourne Town Hall on 1 May 2013.
The final meeting of the Council’s current term is scheduled for 17 June 2013, at Parliament House, Canberra.