The prospect of more than 125,000 Australians being thrust into homelessness or housing stress demonstrates the need to urgently begin building new social housing, says Everybody’s Home, the campaign to build adequate social housing for Australia.
According to economic modelling released by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, close to half a million Australians averted the risk of homelessness and housing stress due to Job Keeper, JobSeeker and other support payments.
However, as these supports begin to taper off, the risk of homelessness and housing stress will rise sharply, exposing one quarter of those people to serious housing stress.
“A substantial Commonwealth investment in social housing will prevent many tens of thousands of vulnerable families and individuals confronting the harsh brutality of homelessness,” says Kate Colvin, spokesperson for the Everybody’s Home campaign.
“As a nation we have banded together to avoid the worst health threats posed by COVID-19. Now we must go the extra mile to ensure we don’t thrust people who are simply unlucky or unfortunate into homelessness.
“The Commonwealth has the financial firepower to build homes for all and make sure no one unnecessarily confronts the awful reality of homelessness. There has never been a better time to make this investment.
“Investing in social housing now provides a powerful twin benefit. It will spur the creation of thousands of building and construction jobs while also providing safe, secure housing for those who have been unlucky.
“It’s hard to envisage a better return on the public dollar. We can create jobs and give people a roof over their head, preventing all manner of illness and social dislocation that comes with homelessness," says Colvin.
The Everybody’s Home campaign brings together a range of charities, not for profits and housing providers to campaign for an expansion of social and affordable housing in Australia. The campaign is pushing for the creation of an additional 500,000 homes in Australia over the next decade.
Image: The Conversation