On Wednesday 7 December, Q Shelter joined 200 other organisations in an open letter to the Prime Minister urging the federal government to extend NPAH funding.

Cuts to the NPAH will hurt the people most in need across our Queensland communities.

Q Shelter joins our industry colleagues in urging the participants of December’s COAG meeting to end the uncertainty facing Australia’s homelessness system.

You can download the open letter to the Prime Minister on here or read it below:

To: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MP

CC: Treasurer Scott Morrison MP

CC: Minister for Social Services Christian Porter MP

CC: Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Zed Seselja

7 December 2016

Dear Prime Minister,

The 200 undersigned organisations are seeking your urgent intervention to avert the human, economic and policy disaster that will occur if the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) is de-funded in 2017.

We call on you to extend the NPAH immediately to provide long-term funding certainty and future indexation for 180 frontline community services across Australia.

These services keep people safe, off the streets and alive. They work across the spectrum of need, including supporting women and children to overcome family violence and sexual assault, preventing homelessness for young people leaving the child protection system, and re-establishing housing for people with extreme health problems and long histories of sleeping rough.

The NPAH has been in operation for eight years and facilitates over $230 million of government investment each year, with contributions split evenly between the Federal Government and the states and territories. This funds around one-third of Australia’s total homelessness service system, providing support to around 80,000 people in crisis each year.

Cuts to the NPAH will withdraw support from some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We will see more people living on the streets of our cities and towns, more women facing family violence and sexual assault alone, fewer young people going to school, higher unemployment, more admissions to emergency departments and the loss of lives that we can save. These cuts will be particularly harmful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who disproportionately experience both family violence and homelessness.

Premiers, chief ministers and housing ministers are united across party lines in support of the NPAH because of the clear and measurable social and economic benefits it provides. We urge you to listen to them, listen to us and listen to the many Australians who are asking you to save these services.
The December 9 COAG meeting provides an opportunity to end the uncertainty facing Australia’s homelessness system and guarantee future support to 80,000 people who quite literally have nowhere else to turn. Without a decision before Christmas, services will be forced to start preparing for the end of the NPAH by letting staff go and closing referrals from people in need of long-term and intensive support.

On behalf of the 200 organisations below, the 40,000 Australians who signed the Vote Home Campaign petitions – and most importantly on behalf of the 105,000 Australians who face homelessness on any given night – we ask you to secure the future of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness as an urgent priority.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Smith Chairperson, Homelessness Australia
Adrian Pisarski CEO, National Shelter