ACTCOSSCommunity Sector Futures Housing & Homelessness: Chronic, Critical or Curable? Adrian Pisarski National Shelter
Why is there a problem? It’s been happening since the 70’s and it is not cyclical! It’s not individual. It’s structural!!!!!!!!
Will it get better or worse? Projected incidence of housing stress: 25% increase in incidence of stress for lower income households Thanks to Judy Yates et al Source: NRV3, RP11
Who is most affected? Results of NATSEM modelling of housing stress (as at December 2007) Key points Low Income Families 1.1 million families, 10.4 per cent of all families 575,000 are families with children, including 260,000 sole parent families
Housing stress by household type and age Housing stress by housing type 685,000 private renting families with low incomes are spending more than 30 % of Income or 22.8 per cent of all private renting families 283,000 low income families are spending more than 30 % of their income to pay off their mortgages – Or 10.5 % of all families with a mortgage Housing stress by age 120,000 low income families headed by someone aged under 20 years old are spending more than 30 % of their income on housing costs – this is 21.2 % of all families headed by someone aged under 20 years old 220,000 families headed by someone aged between 21 and 29 years old are spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs – this is one 13.9 % of all families headed by someone aged under 29 years old
And amongst all that it is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households who suffer the greatest housing stress!
Homelessness and Housing • 100,000 homeless on any given night • Massive unmet need. • On any night 450 people are turned away by SAAP providers around Australia because they can’t accommodate them. • Increasingly younger people, mainly female between the ages of 15 and 19 and younger children. Broken down, this represents one in every 57 girls (2%) in that age bracket in Australia who accessed SAAP services in 2005/6. Equally children in the 0-4 age bracket had the same statistics of one in every 57 accessing a SAAP program with a parent or guardian in the same period. (Homelessness Australia) • SAAP is also overrepresented by Indigenous people and in most states there is no vacancies for Refugees and people holding TPV’s
Is it Structural? (Chronic, Crisis curable?) • Homelessness Australia says Homelessness can be the result of poverty, unemployment and a lack of affordable housing. Domestic violence is the single biggest cause of homelessness in Australia. • Homelessness can also be triggered by family breakdown, • mental illness, sexual assault, alcohol and other drug use, • financial difficulty, gambling and social isolation. • NDCA data cites DV (22%), relationship breakdown (10%) and other - financial difficulty(9%) as the three main reasons for seeking assistance.
BUT What does the data collect? • 6 Presenting reasons for seeking assistance • please tick as many circles as apply • time out from family/other situation 2 • Interpersonal relationships • relationship/family breakdown 3 • interpersonal conflict 4 • sexual abuse 7 • domestic/family violence 6 • physical/emotional abuse 5 • gambling 20 • Financial • budgeting problems 23 • rent too high 24 • other financial difficulty 21 • overcrowding issues 27 • Accommodation • eviction/asked to leave 25 • emergency accommodation ended 11 • previous accommodation ended 26 • other health issues 29 • Health • mental health issues 28 • problematic drug/alcohol/substance use 10 • psychiatric illness 13 • recently left institution 12 • Other reasons • recent arrival to area with no means of support 14 • itinerant 15 • other (please specify) 999 • don’t know/no information 0 • 7 Main presenting reason for seeking assistance • eg 0 2 7
Where are we now? • There are at least 600,000 families and singles in the private rental market in housing stress. This represents 65% of low income private renters. • Approximately 180,000 households are on public rental housing waiting lists. Eligibility is extremely limited, with access restricted to the most severely disadvantaged. • The supply of public housing has declined by approximately 30,000 dwellings between 1996 and 2006 from 372,000 to 341,000 dwellings. • Commonwealth funding for public and non-profit housing has fallen by around 30% in real terms since 1996. • More than 32% of households receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance still pay more than 30% of income on rent. • There is a national shortage in the annual supply of new housing per year of more than 30,000 dwellings; and • More than 100,000 people experience homelessness on any night. • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Australia’s Welfare 2007 at 219. • AHURI, ‘Housing Affordability: a 21st century problem’, National Research Venture 3: Housing Affordability for Lower Income Australians, by Judith Yates and Vivienne Milligan et al, September 2007 at 19.
What are Uncle Kevin and Cousin Tanya up to? • A New National Affordable Housing Agreement NAHA or if HA have their way a NAHAHA to include: • CSHA or public and community housing (????? Currently approx $890m) • Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) (approx $2b p.a. and growing ) • National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) ($1.2b over 10 years) • Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) ($512m) • First Home Savers Scheme • FHOG (administered by the states) • A Place to call home (150 houses) • SAAP
NAHAHA and the National Reform Agenda • NAHA is part of NRA • Reduction of SPP’s from some 80 to 6 or 7 • NAHA is just one • Child Protection • Indigenous Affairs • Mental Health
What are the issues? • Look at the context of rental affordability as the major indicator and solution. • $3.5b lost from public housing funding since 96/97, stock losses • State and Territory Debts (in ACT some 95% of all CSHA funding is returned as debt repayments) • Operating costs vs building supply • State contributions (Additional funds from Qld, Vic, W.A., Tas, NSW)
What are our solutions? • A Growth Target should be established involving an increase in the stock of public and non-profit housing by 30,000 additional dwellings by 2012. • An Affordable Housing Growth Fund should be established with funding of at least $3.5b over the next 3 years strictly ear-marked for expanding the stock of public and non-profit housing, contributed on a matching basis by the Commonwealth and the States/Territories. • An Operating Subsidy Program should be established, provided by the Commonwealth. (could be done paying CRA to state authorities as an operating subsidy) • New well located stock should meet standards relating to dwelling quality, disability accessibility and energy efficiency. • Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) should be reviewed to ensure that it best meets the needs of all low income renters. As a first step, the maximum rate of CRA should be increased by 30% for low income households currently receiving the highest rate of CRA. • Join the campaign of ACOSS, Nat Shelter, CHA, H.A. and others to lobby for increases • And Remember