The Australian Government recognises that homelessness is a complex issue that affects many Australians. It requires a long-term and systematic effort across agencies, sectors, and the community.
While state and territory governments are responsible for service delivery, the Commonwealth supports state and territory governments in their role of providing services to the homeless, or those at risk of homelessness, with funding through the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).
As announced in the 2017-18 Budget, the Government is working with the states and territories to reform the NAHA and the NPAH into the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA). The NHHA will increase the supply of new homes and improve housing and homelessness outcomes for all Australians across the housing spectrum, particularly those most in need.
The NHHA will provide certainty for homelessness services, with a further $375.3 million over three years from 1 July 2018.
This funding will continue to prioritise support for people affected by domestic violence and vulnerable young Australians.
The $117.2 million Transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness will continue to provide support to front-line services addressing homelessness until the NHHA comes into effect in 2018-19.
The Government has also committed $23 million to the Reconnect program which assists young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.
Reconnect is a community based early intervention and prevention program for young people aged 12 to 18 years (young people aged 12 to 21 for Reconnect Newly Arrived Youth Specialist services), who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their families. Reconnect assists young people to stabilise their living situation and improve their engagement with family, work, education, training and their local community.
Further, the Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget a package of initiatives to develop alternative sources of capital for social and affordable housing, this includes:
- $30 million for Social Impact Investment initiatives, of which $10.2 million will be used over 10 years to improve housing and welfare outcomes for young people at risk of homelessness
- $6 million over four years in Homes for Homes, an initiative that encourages property vendors to donate 0.1 per cent of the sale proceeds of their property to fund social and affordable housing projects across Australia. The Commonwealth funding will support development of organisational capability to deliver the Homes for Homes initiative.