Mayors fear entrenched homelessness across capitals

Inaction on addressing homelessness and the lack of social and affordable housing risks entrenching disadvantage among Australians across our capital cities, the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors has warned.

The Council convened a national industry roundtable in Melbourne on 10 October, World Homeless Day, which featured community housing and homelessness services providers, business and research groups, and state and federal government representatives.

“Finding safe, secure, long term accommodation for those experiencing homelessness is our top priority,” Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, said.

Delegates discussed housing targets, funding gaps and effective ways to hasten the building of social and community housing, as well as the Council’s recent report, Capital Concern: Homelessness in Australian Cities.

“Homelessness and disadvantage will become entrenched unless we address this critical shortage,” Lord Mayor Capp added.

The roundtable was held on the eve of the Treasurer’s Forum on Population in Canberra, which is working on a National Population and Planning Framework.

Forum participants on 11 October included ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin, and state and territory treasurers – which is working on a National Population and Planning Framework. The framework will be presented at a future meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), of which ALGA is a member.