Page 901 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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continue to support those who experience it. The demographic profile of public housing tenants demonstrates the effectiveness of Housing ACT in housing those most in need. It also highlights other key groups who access housing and homelessness services as well as valued targeted programs.

The following data is from 2013-14: almost one in five public housing households, 19 per cent, had a main tenant aged 65 or older, and 14 per cent of tenants had the aged pension as their main source of income. Sixty-eight per cent of single-tenant households are home to women over the age of 65. Sixty-five per cent of main tenants in public housing were female. Approximately 25 per cent of all households were single-parent households, and overwhelmingly these households were headed by women, 85 per cent. Almost 40 per cent of tenancies had at least one member of the household with a disability, a total of 4,035 tenancies at 30 June 2014.

I have touched on the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT’s homelessness population, which is why the government has funded a supported accommodation service for families and a boarding house network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families managed by Inanna Inc. The program includes accommodation for mature age students, student couples with children, families from interstate who have relatives in hospital or are visiting relatives in an ACT correctional facility, transgender and gay people, and parents requiring intensive parent support with care and protection involvement. In 2013-14 there were 83 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public housing tenancies created, providing homes to a total of 175 people, including 158 from the priority housing list. At 30 June 2014 there were 780 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public housing tenancies, housing a total of 1,643 residents.

I have also mentioned the value in providing concerted responses to young people experiencing homelessness. Seven services which commenced operation in April 2012 under the youth housing and homelessness services reform continue to support young people across early intervention, crisis and stabilisation. The services and their providers are: housing support service, CatholicCare; crisis mediation service, conflict resolution service, youth emergency accommodation network, the Salvation Army; Canberra Youth Refuge; friendly landlord service, Barnardos; youth identified accommodation and support program, Barnardos; mentoring, life skills and social enterprise service, Ted Noffs Foundation; and parent accommodation support program, St Vincent de Paul.

In 2013-14, 142 young people were at risk of homelessness because of family conflict and were diverted from entering crisis accommodation. The youth housing program assists young people to sustain long-term tenancy and to engage with education, employment and the community. The program specifically targets young people aged 16 to 25 years who are transitioning from the community youth justice system, care and protection, or homelessness services. ROGS acknowledged the high level of success in more than 80 per cent of young people in the homelessness system going on to access education and training services, some 15 per cent above the national average. This is one key indicator as we look to provide the pathways to a permanent exit from the public housing system for as many young people as possible.

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