Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Human Services spokesperson
Housing Ministers from around Australia are meeting tomorrow to decide the future of the National Partnership on Homelessness (NPAH).
The Minister for Human Services must take a strong position to the table so those Tasmanians experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness, can continue to be supported into secure housing.
The government needs to advocate for the critical $5.6 million per annum NPAH funding agreement to be extended for five years. The housing sector need funding certainty beyond June 2017, so they can continue helping their vital work with Tasmanians in need.
The NPAH provides support to more than 7,000 Tasmanians and funds specialist homelessness services. If the Agreement were to fall over, it would have a profoundly negative effect on Tasmanians experiencing, or at risk of homelessness
Tasmania's housing waiting list is skyrocketing according to the DHHS Annual Report. Under a Greens' Minister, waiting lists were at their lowest level in a decade.
There are currently more than 3,500 Tasmanians are on the public housing waiting list. That's an increase of 1,200 people in this term of government.
The Tasmanian Liberals must know the NPAH is integral to the provision of housing in Tasmania and that without that funding there are people who will be sleeping on the streets.
Unfortunately, their colleagues at the Federal level have never demonstrated any meaningful commitment to the NPAH.
We hope Minister Petrusma will take a very strong position to the table at tomorrow's meeting and be arguing for a five year funding agreement instead of ongoing uncertainty for the sector and the thousands of Tasmanians it supports.