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The number of Australians living on the streets will be halved in the next 12 years, Prime Minister has asserted recently.

Launching the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, “The Road Home”, Mr Rudd outlined the Federal Government’s plans for reducing homelessness in Australia by 2020, with specific goals to cut homelessness by half and provide accommodation to all rough sleepers who require it.

There are currently 105,000 homeless people in Australia, of whom approximately 16,000 are sleeping rough.

The White Paper allows for a significant injection of federal money, providing an additional $1.2 billion over four years, or a 55% increase in investment in homelessness.

It includes a commitment of $800 million over the next four years for new support services for homeless people and $400 million over the next two financial years for social housing, to house the homelessness.

The reforms aim to:

  • Help up to 9,000 more young people to remain connected with their families;
  • Help up to 2,250 more families at risk of homelessness to stay housed;
  • Provide day to day support to an extra 1,000 adults with mental illness;
  • Build up to 2,700 additional public and community houses for low income households who are at risk of homelessness;
  • Build up to 4,200 new houses and upgrade up to 4,800 existing houses in remote Indigenous communities;
  • Allocate aged care places and capital funds for at least 1 new specialist facility for older homeless people every year for the next four years.

Simon Turner

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