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Greens challenge Labor to get serious about womens’ safety and double National Housing and Homelessness Agreement funding in upcoming budget

With the current National Housing and Homelessness Agreement due to expire in June, the Greens have called on the Federal Government to double National Housing and Homelessness Agreement funding to $3.6 billion a year, as well as offering states and territories a share of an additional $2.5 billion a year in exchange for implementing a freeze and cap on rent increases.

Current government data shows that in the last year alone 96.3% of the 37,392 people experiencing family and domestic violence who requested long term housing were denied access to a home, as overwhelmed homelessness services deal with chronic government underfunding of housing and homelessness services. This is just the tip of the iceberg as millions of women are forced into economic insecurity by skyrocketing rents and a housing and cost of living crisis.

The same data shows that the top three reasons for women seeking homelessness services were family and domestic violence (45%), financial insecurity (39%) and the housing crisis (36%), as a cruel combination of increasing rates of male violence, skyrocketing rents and chronic underfunding of public housing, put tens of thousands of women in incredibly dangerous situations.

A costing by the Parliamentary Budget Office has found that the total cost of the plan would be $68 billion over the decade, with doubling the baseline NHHA funding to cost $40 billion and additional rent freeze incentive to cost $28 billion.

The current National Housing and Homelessness Agreement between the states and territories and Federal Government was negotiated by the Morrison Government in 2018. The agreement provides $1.6 billion funding a year for housing and homelessness services with some conditions attached to the funding. Last year rather than increase funding, Labor chose to extend the Morrison era agreement by one year, leaving homelessness and housing services chronically underfunded.

The Federal Government and states and territories are currently negotiating a new agreement in the lead up to the Federal Budget.

Under the Greens proposal the Federal government would double base NHHA funding to the states and territories on the condition that funding be spent homelessness services and public and community housing. States and territories would be offered a share of an additional $2.5 billion a year if they implement a set of national agreed rental standards including

  • 2 year freeze on rent increases

  • Followed by a cap on rent increases of 2% every 2 years

  • A right to renew your lease

The Greens also continue to push the Government on fully funding the The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children. The total funding commitment to the National Plan over the next five years is $2.23 billion. The women’s safety sector has consistently called for $1 billion each year to ensure no one seeking help is turned away.


Quotes attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens spokesperson for housing and homelessness

“It is a national disgrace that tens of thousands of women and children fleeing domestic violence are being turned away by homelessness services because Labor refuses to fund them properly or build enough public housing to ensure everyone who needs a home gets one,” Mr Chandler-Mather said.

“Doubling housing and homelessness funding would help ensure every woman escaping domestic violence receives accommodation and support, it’s as simple as that.

“Freezing rent increases will stop further evictions into homelessness for purely financial reasons, helping to ease the pressure on homelessness services and free up their capacity to assist those women who have no option other than to flee their violent home.

“Labor failed miserably at National Cabinet, but this next National Housing and Homelessness agreement is a chance to make a real tangible difference to the lives of tens of thousands of women who will otherwise be once again abandoned by a government unwilling to do anything real to tackle the housing crisis.

“If Labor can find $50 billion in the budget for extra military spending over the next decade then surely they can find at least $40 billion over a decade to ensure housing and homelessness services have what they need to house and help every woman fleeing domestic violence.

“I imagine many Australians are starting to wonder what it will take for Labor to start taking this housing crisis seriously and stop their disastrous tinkering around the edges while millions suffer.”


Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson on Women and Leader in the Senate Larissa Waters

“Domestic violence shelters are at breaking point. Frontline services are struggling to find space for women and children escaping violence. This is an emergency, but Labor refuses to provide an emergency response.

“The housing crisis means that frontline services, with no housing to provide, are having to turn people away or dip into already limited funds to put women up in hotels because crisis accommodation is full or nonexistent.

“With no funding for crisis accommodation or affordable housing in the National Cabinet announcement, Labor is forcing women to choose between violence and homelessness, because there is nowhere for them to go.”


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