Date published: Monday 7 August 2017
Category(ies): Media release
The peak body for Baptist community service organisations, Baptist Care Australia, warmly welcomes today’s Federal Government announcement of $117.2 million in funding to the states and territories to support critical frontline homelessness services.
“The whole sector has been united in advocating for secure and sustainable funding for homelessness and affordable housing services for some time. It’s very encouraging to see the Government following through on funding commitments from this year’s Budget,” said Marcia Balzer, Executive Director of Baptist Care Australia.
“But we encourage all governments to work together to find and fund real, sustainable solutions to our housing and homelessness crisis.
“We can’t get away from the fact that we must take urgent action on public and community housing.
“Today, Homelessness Australia has called on the Government to build an additional 100,000 public and community housing properties over the next five years. Baptist Care Australia is adding its voice to that call for action,” Ms Balzer said.
The initiative, as part of National Homelessness Week, will help secure housing for the more than 200,000 people currently on public and community housing waitlists across the country.
“We just do not have a large enough affordable housing stock to meet demand”, Ms Balzer said.
“More than a third of people seeking help from homeless services (38%) are escaping domestic or family violence, and 1.3 million households are either unable to access private rentals or experiencing rental stress. Governments need to act now to stop the homelessness epidemic from worsening.
“This can only be achieved through stronger collaboration across all levels of government, as well as the not-for-profit and finance sectors, to work towards a suite of sustainable solutions.
“In particular, sustainable housing solutions for people on low incomes or income support are critical. We urge all governments to join forces, collaborate with the community and business sectors, and rise to the challenge of providing 100,000 new public and community housing properties in the next five years.
“The holes in our social housing safety net have been getting bigger with each passing year. It’s well past time that we started to repair them,” Ms Balzer said.
The Baptist Care Australia network provides social and affordable housing for more than 500 households as well as crisis accommodation for victims of domestic and family violence, refugees and disadvantaged young people. Along with a safe place to live, Baptist Care support services help residents rebuild their lives, connect with their communities, and live independently.
Marcia Balzer, Executive Director, Baptist Care Australia
0430 175 310, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016) Specialist Homelessness Services 2015-2016. Available: http://www.aihw.gov.au/homelessness/specialist-homelessness-services-2015-16/
 AHURI ‘Modelling housing need in Australia to 2025’ Report – August 2017.