One of the most frustrating and perplexing aspects of the Howard government was their dogged determination to completely neglect housing issues – (apart from regularly spruiking their alleged ability to keep mortgage rates lower). For something as fundamental as basic shelter, it always baffled me that the Liberals quite readily vacated the field. The Rudd/Gillard governments did some good qork in reversing this approach, even though they never did as much as I would have liked them to do in the area of housing affordability.
It didn’t take the Abbott government long to start undoing this work once again, but the latest announcement to axe funding to important and effective housing advocacy bodies still came as a bit of a surprise to me. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – there is an innate distrust of non-governemnt organisations amongst many Liberal/Nationals these days, as well as strong aversion to advocacy bodies. The fact that these bodies are able to produce valuable information somehow seems to be seen as a detrimental thing – it seems to the government’s view that the less light is shone on homelessness, housing affordability and housing options, the better.