Stepping up to tackle homelessness
The St Vincent de Paul Society believes housing is a human right and we join with other organisations in support of the National Homelessness Prevention Week (August 3 to 11). Homelessness Prevention Week (HPW) is coordinated by Homelessness Australia and funded in part by the Department of Social Services. This year’s theme is ‘Step up’ calls on community members to get involved in Homelessness Prevention Week and change community perceptions of homelessness. HPW 2015 will beofficially launched on Monday, August 3 at the ACT Legislative Assembly and anyone is welcome to attend.
Vinnies steps up
Vinnies has a strong commitment to the range of issues that lead single men and women, women and children, two parent families, men with children and young men and women to become homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Last year we assisted more than 1.3 million people, provided 365,164 bed nights and two million hot meals thanks to our 60,000 members and volunteers, plus generous supporters in the community. Find out more about our services today.
Too many Australians are currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness. These people are often experiencing a range of disadvantages, including substance misuse, mental illness, disability, family violence, discrimination and social isolation.
The news this month that median Sydney house prices have hit $1million and prices in other major capital cities are trailing not far behind, is a clear signal of a housing market that rewarded some while excluding many.
Vinnies Chief Executive Officer, Dr John Falzon, said: “For those who are on the remote fringes of the housing market struggling to find affordable rental accommodation, especially if they are a low-income struggling household, this signals an experience of further exclusion and really points to the desperate need for government to do what markets cannot.”
Vinnies has called on the federal government to “have the courage” to review some of the tax mechanisms that many believe drive up prices in the housing market, such as negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions. The government also needs to make a radical investment in social housing across the nation to make sure people are not threatened with likelihood of homelessness.
“The federal government needs to take leadership in this area and not walk away from housing and homelessness as issues of national import. We ask for the Reform of Federation White Paper to set out a national plan to make sure that no one in Australia is denied a very fundamental and simple right, to a place to call home,” Dr Falzon said.