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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2365 ..

In this week, Homelessness Prevention Week, surely we can all agree to have a focus on reducing homelessness and getting people into long-term supportive and stable housing. In this week, national Homelessness Prevention Week, I believe we all have that in-principle desire to make a difference and to step up to help people experiencing homelessness. But what we are lacking is action to make it happen. The government’s own affordable housing action plan is not being implemented. There are structures already in place for this government; instead, they are focusing on other issues that they feel are more important. I say to you, Madam Deputy Speaker and other members of this Assembly: what can be more important than supporting our fellow Canberrans, those who are in the greatest need? Surely that is what is more important.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (5.02): I move:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) that this week is Homelessness Prevention Week;

(b) that the Government released the independent report Evaluation of Reforms to the ACT Specialist Homelessness Service System on 3 August 2015;

(c) the social and economic costs of homelessness to individuals and the broader community;

(d) a person is defined as homeless if they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement is:

(i) in a dwelling that is inadequate; or

(ii) has no tenure, or initial tenure is short and not extendable; or

(iii) does not allow them to have control of, and access to, space for social relations;

(e) on census night in 2011, approximately 1758 people in the ACT were counted as being homeless. This included:

(i) 1105 (62%) people in supported accommodation;

(ii) 316 (18%) staying temporarily with other households;

(iii) 280 (16%) living in severely crowded dwellings;

(iv) 55 (3%) in boarding houses/other temporary lodgings; and

(v) 29 (2%) sleeping rough;

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