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July 31, 2022

Time to make a plan for homelessness

Quantum Support Services is calling for more support for social housing this Homelessness Week, 1-7 August.

Quantum Acting Chief Executive Cindy Pullar said more than 500 people were experiencing homelessness in Gippsland on any given night, with over 116,000 Australia-wide.

“After two years of unrest and continually increasing living costs, we are seeing more people than ever seeking support,” Ms Pullar said.

“In the past 12 months Quantum has provided support to more than 1000 single adults, couples and families who have presented as experiencing homelessness. Our inner Gippsland local government areas have experienced some of the highest rent increases in the state in the past 12 months. This increase has led to more people becoming homeless due to affordability issues.”

Ms Pullar said for the past 11 months Quantum had been supporting 26 families with long-term motel accommodation, but the funding stream had now closed.

“From 1 July, services like Quantum can only offer up to three nights of motel accommodation to anyone presenting as homeless due to funding returning to pre-COVID levels,” she said.

“But these 26 families that have been supported in long-term motel accommodation are not reflective of the increasing number of families, individuals and couples without children who have been presenting each day seeking shelter and housing support in Gippsland.

“The reality is many of the people we are supporting continue to stay homeless for significant periods of time before a housing outcome can be reached. The average support period is much longer due to the lack of medium and long-term housing options.”

Ms Pullar said Quantum was continuing to work with governments and agencies to find a solution.

“Over recent weeks we have been meeting with our local members of parliament, calling on them to commit their support to the Everybody’s Home Social Housing Pledge. We have also raised the Gippsland housing issues that our community is facing,” Ms Pullar said.

“Our social housing availability has shrunk in Australia from 4.8 per cent of all homes in 2011 to 4.2 per cent in 2021.

“We need a sustainable funding stream to add security for social and affordable housing. It won’t solve homelessness, but it could contribute greatly. An increase in support services funding would also help to meet demand and enable us to provide early intervention.”

For more information on the support services available through Quantum Support Services visit www.quantum.org.au or phone 1800 243 455.