THE Albanese government is finalising its distribution of the $2 billion and around 4,000 homes in the Social Housing Accelerator that will be spread across the states and territories.
The funding for the program must be committed in full by the state and territory governments by the end of June 2025.
Basic details of the $2 billion package were hammered out by the government in negotiations with the Greens, who were demanding a more expansive social housing program within Labor’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) before allowing it to pass through the Senate.
The HAFF will deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes over its first five years, from the middle of 2024. That is in addition to the Social Housing Accelerator, and in addition to national cabinet’s agreement to build 1.2 million “well-located homes”, for which the federal government committed a further $3 billion to the New Homes Bonus to incentivise states and territories to undertake the reforms necessary to reach the 1.2 million homes target.
A new Housing Support Program will provide another $500 million to help local and state and territory governments deliver new housing supply in the so-called well‑located areas.
“Australians in every part of the country deserve the security of a roof over their head,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said yesterday.
The Victorian government said it will build up to 769 homes and has received almost $500 million in funding from the Social Housing Accelerator. Tasmania will receive $50 million for around 125 homes.
Victoria boosts funding to homelessness services
Meanwhile, the Victorian government is promising a further $2.5 million boost to help meet increased demand for crisis and emergency accommodation. The investment will be shared among 50 specialist homelessness services and increase the state government’s Homelessness Establishment Fund to more than $15 million this financial year.
The fund is to be used by specialist homelessness services to help eligible Victorians access crisis and emergency accommodation if they have nowhere to stay and are at risk of rough sleeping. It can also be used to support private rental accommodation or other expenses in relocating and establishing housing.
The state government puts more than $300 million towards specialist homelessness services to support homelessness entry points, case management, outreach support, youth-specific homelessness initiatives, support to sustain tenancies, and housing first responses including the From Homelessness to a Home program.
This year’s budget has $134 million in homelessness programs, including providing more multi-disciplinary support across five supportive housing services and specialist supports in four congregate crisis accommodation services.
Specialist homelessness services respond to the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness through more than 130 agencies across the state, every year.
Australia’s specialist homelessness services industry is being undermined by low remuneration, short-term contracts and competitive funding models driving away experienced staff, according to new AHURI research. AHURI has also found that nationally, more than 160,000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness seeking shelter from Specialist Homelessness Services many are being turned away.
“We want to break the cycle of homelessness in Victoria, which means intervening early with wraparound support services to give Victorians a pathway out of homelessness,” said Victorian Minister for Housing, Harriet Shing.
CEO of Council to Homeless Persons, Deb Di Natale, said the announcement “means more Victorians in desperate need can be safely accommodated while Victoria’s hardworking homelessness services help them find a permanent home”.