New homelessness figures were released today by the ABS, based on 2021 Census data.
On Census night 122,500 people were homeless, an increase of 5% since the 2016 Census, despite COVID-era emergency housing measures.
The Government now must explain to the country why, in the middle of homelessness crisis, it is acceptable to cut $65 million in homelessness funding at the same time as they spend $368 billion on nuclear attack submarines, and $254 billion on the Stage 3 cuts for the rich.
In a wealthy country like Australia, it is unacceptable that over 120,000 people were homelessness on census night, and it is well past time for the Government to wake up and realise they can’t just keep tinkering around the edges.
Hopefully now the Government realises why gambling $10 billion on the stock market via a Future Fund, that would have lost $120 million last year, is not a real response to such a massive crisis.
The Greens have on the table a proposal to invest a modest $5 billion a year in public, community and affordable housing, which would build 225,000 homes, along with introducing a national freeze on rent increases.
With soaring rent increases and chronic underinvestment in public housing from Labor and Liberal governments, we know that since 2021 homelessness would have surged, so perhaps the most alarming thing is that there is now almost certainly far more than 122,000 homeless.
The bottom line is if the Government can find $368 billion for nuclear attack submarines then it would be morally repugnant to reject $5 billion a year for public and affordable housing in the middle of a homelessness crisis.