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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2180 ..

Funding for OneLink has increased its capacity to coordinate referrals for temporary accommodation options such as hotelling, including for service providers of congregate living accommodation where a client needs to self-isolate or quarantine. This program assisted 140 individuals and families up to 30 June 2021.

We have also provided funding to upgrade and furnish existing public housing to operate as crisis and shelter accommodation. Through listening, collaboration, innovation and planning we are supporting the community and mitigating some of the impacts of COVID-19. But our work is not done.

Through the parliamentary and governing agreement the ACT government has committed a further $18 million over four years to further expand the capacity of the specialist homelessness sector. In the first tranche the ACT government has delivered $1.95 million to bolster the sector, including expanding the Early Morning Centre to a seven-day-a-week service with an additional $300,000 over two years. It was a pleasure to attend the launch of this service with my Assembly colleague Mr Mark Parton.

We have increased emergency support and accommodation funding to OneLink by $450,000 over two years to continue to provide further tenancy and client support services. For the continuation of MacKillop House and Winter Lodge services that were established in response to COVID-19 and the successful Axial Housing program, we have provided a combined $1.2 million over two years. In addition the ACT government has provided $700,000 over four years to ACT Shelter to increase its capacity as the peak body providing systemic advocacy and policy advice on social housing, homelessness and affordable housing.

The government remains committed to collaborating with the sector through a joint planning process to not only support new contract arrangements post 2023 but also to continue to build upon and improve outcomes under the ACT housing strategy so that more Canberrans have access to a safe, secure home.

In May this year the government agreed to service funding agreements for the ACT’s 27 funded, specialist homelessness service providers being extended to June 2023. The extension of funding agreements for a further two years means more collaboration between government and service providers, including the development of a shared outcome-based framework. This includes working together to move human services to a commissioning-for-outcomes environment over the next several years. Commissioning is about a genuine partnership and co-design between government, sector partners and the community to plan, improve and, where necessary, redesign services to meet people’s needs.

As the first of many in this strategic partnership, Minister Berry and I hosted a ministerial roundtable with homelessness sector CEOs and related peak bodies on 6 July this year. The meeting was an opportunity to deeply listen to and discuss the values underpinning this strategic partnership, key planning elements, time lines, sector engagement and governance options for the next 18 months.

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