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Homelessness starts to be an issue

By johnboy - 10 March 2011 14

I know I’m noticing a lot of healthy, smartly dressed younger people around town with big backpacks and bedrolls, the mark of the couch surfer.

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is also ringing the bell over the families forced to live in cars:

ACT Greens Housing spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, has today questioned the Minister for Housing as to whether anecdotal evidence that homelessness is on the rise is correct. The Minister was unable to answer the question, and unable to confirm homeless numbers or whether they are indeed on the rise.

“My office has been told that there are currently about twenty families in Canberra who are having to use options like sleeping in their cars because they can’t get into emergency accommodation,” Ms Bresnan said today.

“The lack of affordable housing and rental properties in Canberra is hitting very hard, and I am concerned we are seeing a rise in number of families and singles that can’t find or afford a roof to sleep under.

“The Government established First Point phone service to assist people with finding emergency accommodation. However if there is no housing available, then this will discourage people and families from accessing this and other services.

“There are a number of goals that the ACT Government has set itself in relation to homelessness, but I fear the ACT is moving away from rather than towards those goals.

2CC is reporting the Liberals are starting to wake up to this, albeit from a more bourgeoise perspective:

The OPPOSITION’S comments follow the release of the latest BANKWEST assessment of affordability across Australia, which shows some workers cannot buy properties which are five times their earnings.

Liberals leader, ZED SESLEJA, says his party feared that would happen because of policies the Stanhope LABOR government has pursued over the past nine years.

One wonders how the promised consideration of hostels is going?

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Homelessness starts to be an issue
dazzab 9:13 pm 16 Mar 11

essfer said :

Dear Mr Sesleja,
Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently. There is little value in you criticising the poor efforts of the incumbent if you aren’t offering an alternative with defined, actionable and measurable plans.

Or put another way – put up or shut up.

Well, I did just that years ago. Have a look at http://acthomeless.org/

LSWCHP 8:25 pm 16 Mar 11

Deref said :

EvanJames said :

Handing the development of housing in Canberra to the private sector was a huge mistake, and it’s not getting any better.

+1

It’s a bloody disgrace that in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth there are people who don’t have a basic roof over their head. This is one of the many reason that the Labor Party should be (figuratively) crucified. Although one thing’s absolutely certain – Zed’s mob would be worse. Much worse.

Figuratively? Why only figuratively?

urchin 6:21 pm 16 Mar 11

neanderthalsis said :

essfer said :

Dear Mr Sesleja,
Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently. .

Essfer, part of the housing affordability policy of the Libs is to scrap stamp duty for first home buyers, which would save around $20k on a $500 000 house, which is more than any savings you’ll get out the Jonh & Katy circus and their unpalatable “land rent” concept.

The price bubble in canberra is not due to drip feeding overpriced land. i doubt it helps, but it’s not the cause. it’s because it’s a speculative bubble. new land and new building has outpaced pop growth in canberra for many years. if you want to get prices to drop (virtually nobody wants this, though they sometimes pretend they do) the solutions are easy and well-known.
1. eliminate FHB grant
2. eliminate CG exemption for PPOR
3. quarantine Neg. gearing to income earned by the property

if you really want to bring prices down (nobody does, but I already said that) require buyers to have a minimum 20% deposit.

do all 4 of those things and house prices will be 1/2 what they are now in 2-3 years. Of course if you do that the banks will go bust, the local and state gov’ts will go bust. Which is why nobody seriously considers doing anything that will reduce prices. Instead they take every opportunity to further inflate them, thus ensuring that we will have a catastrophic collapse at some point in the not terribly distant future. Especially the ACT where the gov’t is so dependent upon stamp duties and land sales. then all the people gloating about how much money they are supposedly making off of property now will be jumping up and down on stanhopes political corpse blaming him for their ignorance and short-sightedness.

but of course, it’s different here. Australia has a land shortage, right?

EvanJames 4:17 pm 16 Mar 11

neanderthalsis said :

to scrap stamp duty for first home buyers, which would save around $20k on a $500 000 house, which is more than any savings you’ll get out the Jonh & Katy circus and their unpalatable “land rent” concept.

See, here’s the lunacy. First home buyers buying half million dollar houses? No way in hell I can afford half a million dollars. Where’s the affordable housing that we used to have? Modest little homes. The private developers have no interest in building those, because the value of the piece of dirt is screaming PROFIT at them. They can build a modest affordable home, or a mcmansion on the same bit of dirt. The government gives them vast tracts of dirt, what are they going to do with it?

same with private buyers, of couse. The price of the dirt is sky-high, they’re going to view the home they build on it as an investment, and so build the biggest house they can.

Too many people, not enough dirt.

Deref 2:49 pm 16 Mar 11

EvanJames said :

Handing the development of housing in Canberra to the private sector was a huge mistake, and it’s not getting any better.

+1

It’s a bloody disgrace that in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth there are people who don’t have a basic roof over their head. This is one of the many reason that the Labor Party should be (figuratively) crucified. Although one thing’s absolutely certain – Zed’s mob would be worse. Much worse.

neanderthalsis 2:01 pm 16 Mar 11

essfer said :

Dear Mr Sesleja,
Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently. .

Essfer, part of the housing affordability policy of the Libs is to scrap stamp duty for first home buyers, which would save around $20k on a $500 000 house, which is more than any savings you’ll get out the Jonh & Katy circus and their unpalatable “land rent” concept.

colourful sydney rac 1:10 pm 16 Mar 11

essfer said :

Thumper said :

Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently.

Dear Essfer. Zed is not in power and is unlikely to ever be. Therefore your question is completely and utterly irrelevant. The problem is, without doubt, due to the Stanhope government. Maybe you could acknowledge that?

Dear Thumper,
I’ve said it on other stories so many times that it makes my brain ache – this entire problem has been caused by the Stanhope Government’s policy on land release (and associated things like playing gargle and swallow with the developers).

I’m not trying to play that down. I just tire of hearing Zed sledge the other team whenever he gets a chance. It’s not that he’s wrong, he’s just not offering any alternative of substance and until he does perhaps he should just shut the f*** up.

He’s giving us two options come voting time: The current regime that is making life harder for most of us, or a party who’s willing to criticise the incumbent even though they know they wouldn’t do anything differently.

Um, I think the root causes of homelessness extend a bit further than land release…

essfer 12:32 pm 16 Mar 11

Thumper said :

Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently.

Dear Essfer. Zed is not in power and is unlikely to ever be. Therefore your question is completely and utterly irrelevant. The problem is, without doubt, due to the Stanhope government. Maybe you could acknowledge that?

Dear Thumper,
I’ve said it on other stories so many times that it makes my brain ache – this entire problem has been caused by the Stanhope Government’s policy on land release (and associated things like playing gargle and swallow with the developers).

I’m not trying to play that down. I just tire of hearing Zed sledge the other team whenever he gets a chance. It’s not that he’s wrong, he’s just not offering any alternative of substance and until he does perhaps he should just shut the f*** up.

He’s giving us two options come voting time: The current regime that is making life harder for most of us, or a party who’s willing to criticise the incumbent even though they know they wouldn’t do anything differently.

motleychick 11:17 am 11 Mar 11

FirstPoint is such a useless system. You have people calling a refuge asking if there is room, and all you can do is give them the FirstPoint number and tell them to call there just so FirstPoint can tell them the exact information you could have told them in the first place. A waste of time if you ask me.

EvanJames 10:02 am 11 Mar 11

Handing the development of housing in Canberra to the private sector was a huge mistake, and it’s not getting any better. Developers see every bit of dirt as something to maximise profit from, so up go the humungous houses, someone will buy them. Just not low income people. At the moment, affordable housing is in… Yass, Goulburn, Cooma. That’s the reality.

cleo 3:02 am 11 Mar 11

Hostel’s, more public housing, don’t you get the feeling that these homeless people aren’t wanted in
Canberra, the government I’m sure would prefer it if they moved on elsewhere.

Thumper 10:45 pm 10 Mar 11

Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently.

Dear Essfer. Zed is not in power and is unlikely to ever be. Therefore your question is completely and utterly irrelevant. The problem is, without doubt, due to the Stanhope government. Maybe you could acknowledge that?

Mysteryman 5:07 pm 10 Mar 11

Zed is right. Stanhope is a chump and his policies and decisions regarding land release and housing in the ACT have lead to a very real shortage of affordable accommodation.

The introduction of “Firstpoint” has been a total waste of time and money. Stanhope spent $3m on a system that is effectively just a call centre. Rather than letting homeless people (and the social workers who act on their behalves) deal directly with housing services, they are now required to liase only with Firstpoint – who only manage to say “there’s no room”. Social workers are very unimpressed as it makes their job unnecessarily complicated with no improvement to the outcomes for the homeless. Essentially, the ACT government has ADDED another step in the process of finding accommodation, as opposed to streamlining it. That $3m would have been better spent on building another couple of refuges. At least then there would have been some more roofs over heads.

essfer 1:28 pm 10 Mar 11

Dear Mr Sesleja,
Before you take the opportunity to have a dig at the Stanhope Government, please tell me how you will do things differently. There is little value in you criticising the poor efforts of the incumbent if you aren’t offering an alternative with defined, actionable and measurable plans.

Or put another way – put up or shut up.

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