Federal Govt cuts funding to housing bodies

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.

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8 Comments

  1. I could not disagree more. It is ridiculous for the government to fund any lobby groups, who’s only interest is to get more tax payer money spent on their hobby horse. We end up with piles of over paid one eyed people being paid to do what they want to do, & would do privately anyway.

    As for public housing, I can’t think of a more immoral waste of public money. Getting into public housing is like winning the lottery, except it is always the least deserving that win in this instance.

    They are set for life, with their accommodation provided for stuff all, by those who are paying top dollar for their own housing.. Utterly immoral that one group should pick up the tab for another.

    If you want public accommodation, a tent city should be the maximum those in the private housing market should ever be required to fund, & then the cost should be like HEX, with a minimum half the cost to be paid back ASAP.

  2. It is disgusting you are cutting these funds, how about doing something for the poor and stop filling your rich friends pockets, despicable.

  3. Hasbeen, are you a tenant or an owner? I have 3 kids and we could be on the move again at any point 60 days notice. It is so frustrating, exhausting and expensive. I was trying to work and study but it is near impossible to get the good grades necessary to qualify when you have to move. And I know many families like us, still reliant on parents as that is where you go when you are stuck.
    We also don’t really contribute much to many business sectors such as building, renovation, gardening, home decoration because we are not allowed to alter the places we live and even if we do the owner can come in and change it (e.g. had an owner massacre the garden I had spent months growing – now I don’t bother, and I don’t bother hanging prints and keep things ready to go). We have little rights and no security. My children will probably not have a place they really knew as home and will grow up in many different beige rooms that are the choice of other people. It may just sound like a whinge to you but Andrew is right, houses are no longer viewed as homes and all politicians do is review the situation and say, it’s complicated. But there are people who know about these things and feel passionately and have ideas about remedies.

    We are also seeing the result of high housing costs on our economy and the smaller amounts we have left for other things. I am aware that I am increasingly becoming a burden as the anxiety I feel about this leads me to be increasingly reliant on the health care system.

    Perhaps you might consider these alternative points.

  4. I think it all comes back to the fact that the Coalition is only interested in the rich. Providing affordable housing would push people on high incomes back out of the property market. Any attempt to help ordinary people would minimise the opportunity for capitalists to take over everything, including hospitals, schools and The Arts. It would also limit the opportunity to rip off the poor in order to provide more for wealthy superannuants. That is, of course, unless capitalists were put in charge of providing tiny accommodation for disadvantaged people at a very reasonable cost, then later ramping up rents (which I think is a distinct possibility).

    The “innate distrust of NGOs” is part of an attempt to put more money into the hands of capitalists, but I believe this is also dependent upon which NGOs we are talking about. For example, in some respects the churches are being pushed out, and the secular capitalists are being given a leg up.

    Attendance at annual Medicare Local conferences and speaking with various categories of community workers give a reasonable snapshot as to where the nation is heading, including financial pressure moving towards a “user pays” system aimed primarily at the disadvantaged, and a determined effort to keep even some of the grossly disadvantaged off payments such as Disability Support Pensions.

    At the same time, Lisa Newman is the patron of Homeless Connect Day. Go figure….

  5. It seems fairly clear that HASBEEN has no compassion at all for the disadvantaged, has never lived in a lower socio-economic area to become familiar with the main causes of disadvantage, and HASBEEN well and truly indoctrinated by the right wing press to believe that the rich should have it all, while everyone else dies in the streets.

  6. Lorikeet, I have spent many years and most of my pre-adult life in such areas and maintain an attitude similar to Hasbeen’s. I have many friends who have died or are locked up indefinitely, as well as ones who are still sucking on the government teat. These would amount to about half the people I knew growing up, or less. The other half have worked hard to get themselves out of that situation, including myself.

    I believe in welfare, but it should only ever be a stop-gap measure, not designed to sustain a lifestyle or permanent housing. Everyone who is able should be working and supporting themselves. The terminally infirm etc should be provided for on a more permanent basis, but that would be basic living covered only and it should be strictly regulated in terms of eligibility.

    In short everyone should be given the minimum support needed to help them look after themselves. Not to be looked after permanently.

  7. Dr Dig, I lived in a lower socio-economic area as a young adult for approximately 11 years from 1975 to 1986. Most of the people were very hard working men and women, and community minded as well. However in 2015, the same area is a hotspot of unemployment, racial tension, drug abuse and dire poverty, partly caused by the fact that successive governments have failed to build sufficient public housing, meaning that only the most disadvantaged people are forced to live together.

    I raised the youngest of my children alone in an average sort of suburb. He has both a university degree and a trade and is a very productive member of our society.

    I suggest you address your concerns to our elected representatives who don’t seem to care that 20.2% of Queenslanders are either unemployed or underemployed. The government cannot sink the welfare boot into the disadvantaged without providing full-time work.

    You could also do what I have done, and that is to work in a youth group in a disadvantaged area, in order to improve the life outcomes of disadvantaged Australians. You could also assist by providing craft materials, a financial donation or physical assistance with Homeless Connect Day. Every year there are more and more ordinary people finishing up on the streets, mostly due to unemployment and antisocial, anti-Australian governments.

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