Posted November 08, 2019 09:11:53 A study released by the Australian Council of Social Service has found people living in rough and unstable conditions are most likely to have their savings and credit cards defrayed.
The study found that people living on the street have a $1,300 to $2,500 defray for their rent and their utilities, while those living in a rented property are able to borrow up to $5,000.
But while the study said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how much money a homeless person would save on their mortgage, the study also said there was a potential savings of up to 30 per cent.
The research was commissioned by the Victorian Government, which has been trying to boost homelessness services since it was introduced.
Victoria’s Homelessness Strategy states that the state will invest up to US$10 million over the next two years into reducing homelessness.
The state has set aside $5 million in a fund to assist people who are homeless and in need.
“We need to do more than just fund those programs and support them, we need to ensure that the funding is there for people who need it and have access to it,” Victorian Minister of State for Indigenous Affairs, Lesley Ambrose, told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“The more that we do, the more it becomes a self-sustaining process.”
Ambrose said the fund would help people in “tough times” but added the state was “working hard” to address homelessness.
“There’s an enormous amount of work that needs to be done, but the Government has already committed an additional $7.5 million over two years to fund those initiatives,” she said.
“But that’s a small part of our overall plan to reduce homelessness.”
The state’s first program, which launched in 2018, was designed to help people living rough and in insecure housing.
It provides up to four weeks of housing for a homeless family.
“If you need help, or you’re in a position to access help, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, the National Homelessness Helpline on 1300 789 978, or visit your local homeless services,” Lifeline’s website says.
“In the past 12 months, Lifeline has helped more than 2,100 Australians in need of help.”
Homelessness experts say the fund is crucial to the government’s efforts to address the problem, but advocates are not pleased with the result.
“It’s not an adequate investment, given the lack of funding to provide support for people in precarious housing,” said Louise McLean, CEO of the Victorian Council of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Services.
“At the same time, the government has put forward the plan to increase the funding for housing support, so there’s still a lot of work to be undertaken, but there’s a very real opportunity for this money to be spent on the very things that are helping people on the ground,” she told the ABC.
“People are living in conditions that we would not be prepared to see them living in, so it’s disappointing to see it go.”
More to come.