Due to high average incomes Jon Stanhope likes to proclaim that Canberra has the most affordable housing in Australia.
It’s curious for a Labor leader to announce that, because the wealthy and middle class are able to get by, the most vulnerable can go hang.
The ABC today informs us that Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows half of Canberra’s homeless through this cold winter are being turned away, and others are being shipped to regional NSW.
St Vincent de Paul says it is being forced to relocate homeless people from the capital to regional New South Wales to secure emergency accommodation.
The charity has expanded a Goulburn hostel from 10 to 40 beds.
St Vincent de Paul also manages a 12 bed single men’s shelter at Hacket in Canberra’s inner north.
The charity’s Bob Wilson says they have to turn away 150 men each month from the Canberra shelter.
“So we only have twelve beds. So we can only look after twelve people. When people are turned away we accommodate them in some of our other network of other homeless persons services in Goulburn, Wagga and Albury,” he said.
So when we talk about housing affordability do we care if a childless couple both pulling EL1 salaries can afford to buy an ex-govvie house and still eat out in Kingston on Friday night? Or do we care if we’ve got roofs over the heads of victims of domestic violence fleeing abuse with their children in tow?