The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program V Agreement (commenced 1 July 2005) was terminated on 31 December 2008 to make way for the introduction of the new National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) on 1 January 2009.
On 16 June 2009 the former Minister for Housing, Tanya Plibersek announced that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth will hold an inquiry into homelessness legislation.
This announcement followed the Rudd Government’s Homelessness White Paper – which provides an additional $1.2 billion over four years as a down payment on a 12 year reform agenda to halve homelessness by 2020. The White Paper noted the Government’s intention to introduce new legislation to replace the Supported Accommodation Assistance Act 1994. The Supported Accommodation Assistance Act 1994 is still in operation. However, timing is right to build on important principles that have guided Government responses to homelessness since 1985, and take advantage of a national focus on the issue to strengthen this legislation.
SAAP was established in 1985 to bring homelessness programs funded by individual state and territory governments and the Commonwealth under one nationally coordinated program.
SAAP aimed to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to achieve a maximum possible degree of self reliance and independence by providing transitional supported accommodation and a range of related support services.
The Australian Government committed approximately $643 million to SAAP over the three and a half years of the agreement. $620 million went directly to the states and territories. $23 million was allocated to the SAAP Innovation and Investment Fund, a collaborative venture between all parties with the aim of progressing and strengthening sector reform in line with the SAAP V Strategic Priorities. $22 million of this funded pilot projects administered by the states and territories. The remaining $1 million was set aside for projects with a national focus.