Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Human Services spokesperson
News from today's COAG meeting that the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness will be extended for another 12 months lets down the community and housing sector.
The NPAH provides support to more than 7,000 Tasmanians and funds specialist homelessness services. Only extending it for a year won't provide much comfort to a sector that is forced to struggle with funding insecurity.
Under the Hodgman Government, the housing waiting list is skyrocketing, with no investment in new stock over successive budgets, until this year. Thousands of Tasmanians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, are waiting for months for housing.
Over 200 community organisations lobbied the Turnbull Government to continue the NPAH funding. Housing services like Shelter Tasmania, working on the frontline, see the real face of homelessness and know how desperate the need for secure government funding is.
Those services will be breathing sighs of relief, for the moment. Unfortunately, with funding, including Tasmania's $2.8M yearly allocation, only being extended for a year, they'll be forced to continue the fight in 2017.
Surviving on funding year to year isn't the answer. Organisations can't be expected to have holistic impact if they can't look past the next 12 months.