Nov 9, 2007

More homes for homeless Australians will make a difference in the Inner West

More homes for homeless Australians will make a difference in the Inner West

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

9 November 2007

Today, Anthony Albanese visited the Loaves and Fishes Restaurant at the Exodus Foundation in Ashfield to talk about the local implications of A Place to Call Home, Federal Labor’s five year plan to build more homes for homeless Australians.

A Rudd Labor Government will invest $150 million over five years to establish up to 600 new houses and units across the country for families and individuals who are homeless.

Federal Labor’s aim is to halve the number of homeless people turned away from shelters each year within five years, and to close the gap within a decade.

The inner west of Sydney has one of the highest rates of homelessness in Australia, with many refuges assisting individuals and families on a daily basis.

The extraordinary work done by Bill Crews and the Exodus Foundation highlights what is a hidden tragedy for many.

At a time when many Australians are achieving economic prosperity, the fact is that many Australians are being left behind.

My view is that Governments should be judged by how they treat the most vulnerable in society, and I am proud that a Rudd Labor Government will pursue its compassionate policies, which will make a real difference to the lives of many.

100,000 Australians find themselves homeless on any night. Of these, nearly half are under 24 years of age and 10,000 are children aged twelve or younger.

Services funded to assist the homeless do their best, accommodating more than 12,000 at any one time in around 7,500 shelters, units and houses; however, this is not enough to meet demand.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said in 2005-06 there were 3,383 requests for emergency accommodation (4.4 per cent of the total requests for emergency accommodation) that could not be met.

Federal Labor’s plan will help ease the pressure on these people, and will help community organisations, such as Exodus who do such a wonderful job.

Below: Anthony helps Rev Bill Crews serve lunch at the Loaves and Fishes Restaurant.