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National response to homelessness positive.

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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family Minister Assisting the Prime 

and Community Services Minister for the Status of Women 


Tuesday, 20 April 1999



National response to homelessness positive



Minister for Family and Community Servi ces, Senator Jocelyn Newman, has welcomed a major national report on the Commonwealth, State and Territories response to homelessness in Australia.


“The National Evaluation of the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) recognises Australia’s significant achievements in addressing the needs of homeless people,” Senator Newman said.


“The Commonwealth and State Governments have worked closely over the past five years to put in place successful and innovative strategies to assist people who are homeless. The report findings suggest that unmet demand remains a significant issue.”


The report by the Social and Economic Research Centre and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute at the University of Queensland recognises that homelessness is not just about housing crisis; dealing with homelessness requires the on-going development of policies and programs at all levels of government.


“SAAP has already received over $1 billion in funding from Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments since 1994. Over $129 million is being provided by the Commonwealth Government in this financial year alone."


“The report acknowledges the Government’s ongoing commitment to not only providing a safety net through SAAP but also addressing structural and systemic problems,” Senator Newman said.


Community Services Ministers from the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments agreed to the continuation of SAAP and further strengthening direct support to the homeless with a greater emphasis on partnerships, improving the program’s performance and linking with other programs and agencies to both prevent people becoming homeless and to better meet the needs of homeless people.


“SAAP is just one part of the Government’s response to the significant issues of homelessness. The Prime Minister recently announced $60 million for the early intervention and prevention of homelessness among young people.” Senator Newman said.


“The Commonwealth Government also recognises that domestic violence is a major contributor to homelessness and the Commonwealth is leading the way with a joint national $25 million Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Strategy with State and Territory Governments.


“Supporting homeless people re-gain independence as well as providing support for people at risk of homelessness is an important issue for all Australians, Senator Newman said.”



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