MEDIA RELEASE

Friday, 10 February 2017

For immediate release

National Affordable Housing Agreement Essential

Reports to axe the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) reported in news.com and the Australian today have been met with shocked disbelief by National Shelter the peak affordable housing body.

“If true this will be an act of vandalism by the commonwealth against a vital essential funding program which supports the most vulnerable including funding two thirds of all the homelessness services in Australia.”

“The NAHA wasn’t well conceived and has not been well managed but axing the only funding for public housing and homelessness services without discussion, consultation or any alternative plan amounts to vandalism against many of the most vulnerable in our community”, said Adrian Pisarski National Shelter Executive Officer.

The NAHA funds the maintenance of our social housing system as well as homelessness services provision and this looks like the Commonwealth is abandoning the field by removing essential funding for social housing and homelessness services.

“At a time when rough sleeping is rampant in our cities and housing affordability a daily headline this is not the time for the Commonwealth to cut and run.” Mr Pisarski said.

“National Shelter has been critical of the performance of the NAHA and plead with the Commonwealth and States to address issues of, sufficiency, transparency, accountability and performance but ditching it is not the answer”, Mr Pisarski added.

“We need a national plan which supports social housing, homelessness and addresses housing affordability more generally thru attracting private and public investment and broader reforms of planning, taxation and tenant rights at state levels. This is not an either or situation, we need every tool at our disposal, including a reformed NAHA.”

The Commonwealth needs to negotiate these reforms with State Governments and the community sector not abandon the field. National Shelter remains available to advise all parties on reforms to housing and homelessness.

ENDS

Further comment: Adrian Pisarski  mob. 0417 975 270      adrian.pisarski@shelter.org.au

Download the Media Release here