ACOSS Reports & Submissions
Housing & Homelessness
This paper provides ACOSS' response to the exposure draft of the Public Housing Tenants’ Support Bill 2013: Housing Payment Deduction Scheme. While ACOSS supports the objective of preventing the risk of homelessness due to tenancy failure - particularly important when the landlord is a public housing provider - the proposal to address this risk by deducting social security payments is inappropriate, and cannot be introduced with the necessary protection levels. This paper is available in both PDF (just click on the title above) and word formats.
This report shows that poverty in Australia remains a persistent problem with an estimated 2,265,000 people or 12.8% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line used to measure financial hardship in wealthy countries.
It is the most comprehensive picture of poverty in the nation since 2006 and shows that people who are unemployed, children (especially in lone parent families), and people whose main source of income is social security payments, are the groups most at risk of poverty.
The report is also available in accessible HTML: Poverty in Australia Report
To find out more about how the research was conducted, read Poverty in Australia: New Estimates and Recent Trends - Research Methodology.
The above report is an updated version of the original 2012 release; this update includes an extra chaper on people with disabilities living in poverty.
Australian Community Sector Survey 2013
We need YOUR help!
Did you know that there is only one major survey about our sector?
The ACOSS Australian Community Sector Survey (ACSS) is an annual survey of community services across Australia. It is used extensively in the media, in advocacy, by policy makers, policy analysts and academics. It is used to identify issues for our sector and the people we work with.Previous Australian Community Sector Surveys are available here.
One of the most important issues that we report on each year is how many people are being turned away from services and where there is unmet need.
The credibility of the survey rests on a good response rate from a wide range of organisations across the country.
We need you to complete the survey, giving us the best possible information about your client base, your organisation's sustainability and staffing. It takes a while, but it is vitally important.
You can complete the survey online or download a paper version that you can use to get input from a number of staff. Please note that will need to complete this manually or to complete in one go and then print out - this version will not save as a PDF form.
All responses are kept confidential. If you have any queries call ACOSS on 02 9310 6200 or email email@example.com
Make sure our voice is heard!
In this submission, ACOSS outlines policy recommendations for consideration by the Federal Government in its 2012-13 Budget. The submission aims to resolve the tension between the Govern-ment’s commitment to restore the Budget to surplus from 2012-13 and the urgency of social and economic needs not yet met, of key social and economic reforms not yet completed.
Our priority for the 2012-13 Federal Budget remains to ensure that no person is excluded from the benefits of economic growth and prosperity and from the opportunity to fully participate in society. Some of the policy building blocks to meet this goal have been laid, including the commitment to introduce a National Disability Insurance Scheme, the emerging policy focus on employment participation for people excluded from the labour market, and last year’s mental health reform package.
ACOSS' Election Platform outlines key priorities to build a fair Australia which ensures people on low incomes are not excluded because of social or economic disadvantage. We are calling for commitments from our political leaders on issues including: Work and income support; Affordable Housing; Oral health; Indigenous; Tax; Climate change; and measures to Strengthen the Community Sector.
The White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, included a Commonwealth Government commitment to ‘implement new legislation to ensure people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness receive quality services and adequate support to meet their needs'. ACOSS welcomes the announcement of this Inquiry to progress this White Paper commitment.
ACOSS strongly supported the two economic stimulus packages, the first of which was introduced a year ago. This inquiry is timely as it provides an opportunity to review these initiatives, and to make adjustments where necessary.
The evidence indicates that the package prevented a steeper and more prolonged slowdown in growth and saved jobs.
ACOSS supports the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which is designed to stimulate private investment in affordable rental housing. We argue the Scheme is appropriately targeted at low and moderate income households but that the NRAS must be complemented by additional incentives and forms of assistance to encourage providers to rent dwellings to very low income and high needs households.
ACOSS' submission in response to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) Technical Paper welcomes the Scheme and highlights a number of issues related to access to NRAS dwellings by those on low incomes. The submission includes a discussion of rental stress, tenant eligibility, the allocation of incentives, the setting of rent levels and the regulation of tenancy managers. It highlights the need to ensure that the Scheme enables access by low income and disadvantaged households to safe, secure, appropriate and affordable housing while protecting the viability of community housing providers.
ACOSS's submission to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs called for an improved national response to homelessness which addresses the structural causes of homelessness (including the lack of affordable housing), invests in prevention and early intervention, strengthens the mainstream service response and enhances the crisis accommodation service system. In this submission we outline five key elements of a new national approach: an increase in the stock of public, community and other affordable housing, A National Strategy with goals and targets, a new National Affordable Housing Agreement which includes housing and homelessness programs, the enhancement of effective prevention and early intervention programs and the enhancement of homelessness support services to meet existing need, provide longer term and post-crisis support and to increase case management and service brokering capacity.