New data released this week from Homelessness Australia has revealed 600 people are homeless in the electorate of Blair and there is a shortfall of 4,400 social housing dwellings.
As part of the “Everybody’s Home” for Homelessness Week (3 – 8 August), the interactive heat maps reveal that our community is not immune to homelessness, and the Morrison Government needs to do more to address this crisis.
Federal Member for Blair and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann says the solution to homelessness is a no brainer.
“For months, Labor has been calling on the Morrison Government to fund the construction of more social housing. This would be a win-win. It would provide work for thousands of builders and tradies, and put a roof over the head of Australians who desperately need it,” he said.
“The COVID-19 crisis has made it even clearer just how important safe and affordable housing is.
“In the last few months, more than 7,000 people sleeping rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, have been provided with a bed in one of the many empty motel and hotel rooms.
“This proves that if the Morrison Government really wants to, it can significantly reduce the number of Australians sleeping rough.
“The data reveals that homelessness is not just a problem in our cities, it’s an issue here in the Ipswich region also.
“The National Cabinet needs to make sure that the homeless Australians we helped at the height of the pandemic are not thrown back on the street in the next few months.
“The Palaszczuk Government in Queensland has already done some good work here, but we need national leadership,” Mr Neumann said.
During the Global Financial Crisis, the former Labor Government invested $5.6 billion in the construction of nearly 20,000 new social housing dwellings and repaired a further 80,000 existing properties, which delivered jobs and economic stimulus.
As the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Mr Neumann also called on the Government to do more to help homeless veterans in the wake of alarming new figures.
A recent report from UNSW into veteran homelessness found around 5,800 ex-servicemen and women have been homeless in a 12-month period, far more than previously estimated, while RSL Queensland has reported a 26 per cent increase in demand for their homelessness program year on year.
“It’s a national disgrace that so many people who have risked their lives for our country are sleeping rough.
“This Homelessness Week, the Prime Minister should outline a plan to help our homeless veterans.
“The Morrison Government needs to do far more to support our defence personnel when it comes to transitioning out of the Australian Defence Force and into civilian life through assistance with housing, mental health and employment,” said Mr Neumann.