Submission to the Inquiry into homelessness in Australia Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
Submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs – Inquiry into homelessness in Australia
HPLS’s submission argues that Australia homelessness crisis is due to structural issues in the housing and social security systems.
Decades of under-investment have created a severe social housing shortage. At the same time, renting and owning in the private market is becoming increasingly difficult for lower income households as wages have not kept pace with rents and dwellings prices. Inadequate levels of income support compound this issue and cause some to fall through the cracks and become homeless.
This submission outlines a range of policy and legislative reforms to our housing and social security systems that have the potential to significantly reduce and alleviate homelessness. We draw on the expertise of lawyers from the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) in NSW, the lived experience of members of PIAC’s consumer advocacy committee StreetCare, recent data and academic research, and evidence from government reports and peak bodies.
We urge the development of a National Housing Strategy underpinned by a housing first approach to homelessness, to deliver enough social housing to meet the housing needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.