The Palaszczuk Government has called on the Commonwealth to protect Queenslanders by providing long-term certainty for housing and homelessness funding agreements.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said some of the funding agreements are negotiated on a one or two year basis, while future funding under the head agreement, the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) also now appears uncertain.
“Last financial year NAHA funding enabled us to place more than 6,800 new families into social housing, including 390 households escaping domestic and family violence,” Mr de Brenni said.
“To allow us to adequately plan – and for the sake of the people they support – these agreements need to provide more certainty and funding adequacy over the longer term.
“It is in no one’s interest to be renegotiating them every year.
“Imagine if the Turnbull government treated health funding the way it treats homelessness funding – if hospitals couldn’t schedule surgeries or hire nurses until funding was allocated every year.
“I fail to understand why homelessness is given this treatment.”
Mr de Brenni said the Queensland Government uses NAHA funds along with State funding and public housing rent income to operate public housing, support community housing, fund homelessness services and deliver essential private rent support.
“These funding agreements between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments provided safeguards for seniors, people with a disability, Indigenous communities in remote areas and families and individuals fleeing domestic and family violence, among many others,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Agreements like the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which is not guaranteed beyond June 2018, also need long-term security.
“The NPAH funds homelessness support services across the state, and the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) and its predecessor the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) provide housing in remote communities,” he said.
“NPAH funds support services to help those sleeping rough on the street into housing or those facing homelessness, including families and individuals fleeing from domestic and family violence and young people.”
Mr de Brenni said NPAH and NPARIH had delivered significant results under the Queensland Government’s watch.
“However, the Commonwealth Government has not made any further funding commitment for remote Indigenous housing beyond 30 June 2018.
“If it does not renew NPRH funding, we won’t have any new construction in these communities after June 2018.”
Mr de Brenni said NPAH and NPARIH had made a significant contribution to the Closing the Gap strategy, reducing overcrowding, and increasing local employment opportunities, training and education, and home ownership within remote communities.
“As at 10 April 2017, NPAH and NPARIH investment has delivered 862 new dwellings and significant upgrades to 1,490 others,” he said.
“Although there is no requirement for matched funds, the Queensland Government has invested an additional $653 million from 2008 to 2018.”
Media contact: Tristan Douglas 0447 164 197