The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia has welcomed the renewed commitment by the Prime Minister to meet the commitment to halve homelessness by 2020.
Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon said:
“Too often the people experiencing homelessness in prosperous Australia are blamed for their homelessness and effectively told that it is they who must change. This is a deeply flawed approach, especially when we consider that the factors contributing to homelessness include poor health, housing stress and the need to escape domestic violence.
“The truth is that it is we as a nation who must change. We therefore call on both sides of politics to unite in making a reality out of the White Paper target to halve all homelessness by 2020 and to offer a place to call home for all who are sleeping rough. There can be no higher priority for a nation that prides itself on being progressive. For in a nation as prosperous as ours there should be no place for homelessness.
“We need especially to tackle the lack of social and affordable housing. Housing should be a human right for all, not a privilege for some.”
National President, Mr Anthony Thornton, said:
“We urgently need a new four-year agreement between the federal, state and territory governments if we are to achieve the Homelessness White Paper targets.
“All Australians need to get behind this cause so that both sides of politics realise that it is something that matters to all of us.
“Everyone in Australia, from the First Peoples to the most recent arrivals, and everyone in between regardless of their economic or personal circumstances, should have an appropriate place to call home.”