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(generated from captions) that. 91% of family 12 months

later in stable housing. I

just want to jump in there the

federal Housing Minister Tania

Plibersek is able to join us

now from Sydney. Good

morning. Hi, how are you?

Well, thank you. Good to have

you on board. Interesting, Tony

Keenan has given a you a very

strong endorsement this

morning. He said it's quite

possible for to you halve

homelessness in Australia by

2020. He has even said to set a

benchmark like that is quite a

normal thing to do. So you're

confident that you can do

that? We agree that this is an

ambitious target. It's going to

be hard to reach this target.

But we wanted to set our

target, a strong target because

we believe that this is a social problem in Australia,

that Australians do want to

address. They do think that 105,000 homeless Australians

every night is too many and by

setting an ambitious target I

think we focus our efforts. It

means we need to work hard. It

means we need to start quickly,

have a sense of urgency. But

also we know we need to sustain

our efforts over the long term.

I don't think there is anything

wrong with setting an ambitious target. It's certainly a target

which think is important in the

Australian context. Tony Keenan

also mentioned this morning

that the role of other

government and quasi government

agencies are going to be really

important in dealing with the

issue of early intervention.

You will have to rely on Department of Community Services, perhaps real estate

agents, schools and the like to let the authorities know that

there are pressures here on

families that might lead to

homelessness. What formal

expectations will you have of

groups and agencies like

that? Well, the example that

Tony gave is a very good one F

people go to Centrelink or

another agency for emergency

help on several occasions,

they're able then to talk with

that family to see what other

supports they need to make sure that they don't lose their

housing. There are a number of

agencies that are called

first-to-know agencies. They're

the first to know that a family

is at risk of homelessness.

Centrelink is one, schools are

another, the Department of

Community Services is another.

Mental health facilities,

hospitals, drug and alcohol

facilities. These are all

agencies that may be aware that

a family is at risk of

homelessness. If we get the

supports right and prevent that

family becoming homeless, then

we're doing a much better job

than dealing with their

homelessness once they're

already homeless. One of the

criticisms of the policy, one

of the very few criticisms is

that it doesn't address mental

health issues. Do you accept

that? One of the things we're

doing in that area is 1,000

more people assisted with

personal helpers an mentors.

That means people with a mental

illness who may lose their

housing because of the nature

of their mental illness, they

may forget to pay their rent,

they may be disruptive with

neighbours, if we put these

personal helpers and mentors

into place, that person can

identify any risks for the

person who has a mental illness

and be a negotiator, be the

person that settles issues down

so that they don't blow up and

make a person homeless. That's

just one example of the sort of

work we're doing with people

who have a mental illness.

Another example is the 90

Centrelink outreach officers

who will work with homeless

people on the streets to make

sure that they're receiving

benefits. We know that a lot of

homeless people don't receive

any benefits at all, and in

large part that's because they

have a mental illness and their

lives are so very chaotic that

they haven't been able to

establish their identity, or

even they're frightened of

ghoog a Centrelink office. I've

had personal experience with

people in my own electorate who

for whatever reason believe

they're unable to enter a

sender link office. That's one

of the manifestations of their

mental illness. If you're not

receiving any benefits at all

it's impossible to keep a roof

over your head. So those 90

extra outreach officers are

going to be very important that

people have even the most basic

payment to make sure they get

enough food or they can stay

even in accommodation like

boarding houses. Certainly

that's not the ideal end place

for those people, but it is

very important that they are at

least connected to the system

that they're getting the

benefit they're entitled to and

that by connecting them to the

system we can start to work

with them to address the other

issues that have made them

homeless and that are keeping