No Progress on Homelessness: Housing Action Urgently Needed


The high number of people experiencing homelessness in Australia highlights the need for urgent action to build more homes, says the Community Housing Industry Association.

ABS data published today shows that 122,494 people were estimated to be experiencing homelessness at the time of the 2021 Census, an increase of 6,067 people (5.2 per cent) since 2016.

The number of men experiencing homelessness increased by 1.6 per cent while the number of women increased by 10.1 per cent. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of all people experiencing homelessness were aged between 12 and 24 years.

With the homelessness rate remaining stubbornly high, urgent action is needed to improve access to affordable housing.

CHIA has supported the government’s Housing Australia Future Fund but believes more can be done to end rising homelessness for good.

“It is distressing that a nation as wealthy as Australia has so many people living without a place to call home,” said CHIA CEO Wendy Hayhurst.

“The stats show that homelessness is disproportionately affecting young people and the sharp increase among women is shocking.

“We are now almost two years since the census and, with the rental market glowing red hot, it is sadly inevitable that the situation will have grown substantially worse.

“The Housing Australia Future Fund is a great start that could be made even better by a regular top-up so that it generates a reliable, predictable source of funding for an ongoing social and affordable housing program.

“Because of our charitable status and excellent track record, Community Housing Organisations are well placed to deliver quality new homes at the best value to the taxpayer.”

CHIA research earlier this year found there are 640,000 Australian households whose housing needs are not being met, and this figure is projected to increase to 940,000 by 2041.

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