Heat maps released today by Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home have revealed a shortfall of 3,000 social housing dwellings in the ACT, while almost 1,600 people in the ACT are homeless. These figures, released at the start of Homelessness Week 2020, highlight yet again the urgent need for the Federal and ACT governments to deliver significant investment in social housing in the ACT.
ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “This Homelessness Week 2020, ACTCOSS is joining a national call led by Everybody’s Home for federal MPs to pledge to build social housing to create jobs. We are also calling on the ACT Government and candidates in the upcoming 2020 ACT Election to commit to investing in social housing to address the significant shortfall in affordable housing in the ACT and to support the COVID-19 community and economic recovery.
“The figures released today show that there is a clear community need for more social housing in the ACT. It makes sense economically and is critical infrastructure for inclusive growth during the next phases of COVID-19. For every dollar invested, direct public investment in social housing is estimated to boost GDP by $1.30.
“The lack of social housing means more people end up homeless because they can’t find an affordable home, and those who are already homeless have no way to escape it. The COVID crisis has increased pressure on millions of Australians and is pushing even more people into rent stress and homelessness.
“ACTCOSS is calling on the Federal Government to include investment in social housing in the 2020-21 Federal Budget and to waive the ACT’s public housing debt under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement. ACTCOSS supports the proposal by national housing advocacy groups for Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP) that would deliver urgently needed jobs and provide an immediate boost in social housing.
“We are calling on the ACT Government to accelerate delivery of the housing strategy, and to work together with the Federal Government to address the 3,000 dwelling shortfall in social housing in the ACT.”
Dr Campbell concluded: “For a while now, the ACT Government has flagged that it will announce further investment in the construction of new social housing as part of the COVID-19 recovery measure. With the Chief Minister due to deliver a major economic update later this month, ACTCOSS will be keen to finally see words turn into action through a significant investment in social housing.”
ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.