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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2361 ..

(j) having a safe and secure place to live enables a person to live a socially inclusive life and access education, health and employment opportunities;

(k) the solution to homelessness lies in providing affordable housing, addressing the long public housing waiting lists and providing targeted support that enables people to sustain their tenancies, and

(l) on 17 June 2015 the former ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, said that his biggest regret while Chief Minister was housing affordability, land planning and supply; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) develop and implement a realistic framework by October 2015 to address Canberra’s affordable housing crisis and increase the supply of affordable housing in the ACT;

(b) develop and implement a realistic framework by October 2015 to address Canberra’s long public housing waiting lists; and

(c) to report back to the Assembly in September 2015 on progress.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to move this motion today and bring the Assembly’s attention again to the fact that it is Homelessness Prevention Week. I would like to talk about the ACT’s current homelessness landscape as well as the housing affordability crisis that we are experiencing.

Homelessness Prevention Week, which in 2015 runs from 3 to 9 August, aims to raise community awareness and understanding of the causes and complexities of homelessness and the effects it has, to increase community connections for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In previous years it was called Homeless Persons Week. The narrative has shifted from disadvantage to advantage this year: it shifted from being Homeless Persons Week to being Homelessness Prevention Week.

On Monday I was pleased to attend the official launch of Homelessness Prevention Week by my colleague Ms Berry, the Minister for Housing. I participated in a panel discussion where we focused on the theme of Homelessness Prevention Week, stepping up to end youth homelessness in Canberra.

Also on Monday, the Evaluation of reforms to the ACT specialist homelessness service system report was released. This report provides an evaluation of reforms to the ACT’s specialist homelessness service system between 2009 and 2014. The report made a large number of findings about specialist homelessness services in the ACT, including the following:

The proportion of service users with high needs has increased … and now account for 35 per cent of service users …

The gap most commonly identified by service providers was the inability to provide the desired level of service intensity …

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