Federal Homelessness Minister meets with Sunshine Coast community groups

Sunshine Coast charities, community housing groups, and service providers had the opportunity to share their feedback and ideas today with Federal Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth in a Homelessness and Community Housing Roundtable organised by Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace.

The Sunshine Coast Homelessness and Community Housing Roundtable, which took place at Landsborough School of Arts Hall, included representatives of more than a dozen local organisations. Attendees discussed a range of topics including housing for vulnerable Australians and young people, housing affordability, and housing for older Australians.

Assistant Minister Howarth said: “The Morrison Government understands that having a roof over your head is crucial to the welfare of all Australians. Just one person forced into homelessness is one too many.”

“I was grateful to join with local stakeholders and volunteers today in the Fisher electorate to listen to their feedback and get a deeper understanding of the needs of this local community.”

“The Government is providing more than $3 million in funding to organisations right here making a difference in Fisher. This funding supports initiatives including over $728,000 for Reconnect youth homeless services, as well as directly funding $113,000 for the Caloundra Community Centre for Children and Parent Support Services, $524,000 for Unitingcare Community Centres and $120,000 for Suncare community services.” 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there were an estimated 362 people experiencing homelessness in the Federal electorate of Fisher in 2016.

Andrew Wallace said: “Assistant Minister Howarth is leading the charge for the Federal Government in supporting State and local Governments and our community more widely to address the challenge of homelessness and the accessibility of community housing all over the country. I’m grateful to him for coming to the Sunshine Coast so early in this new term of Parliament to hear about our local experiences and to take them back to Canberra.”

“Tackling these challenges on the Sunshine Coast is an important and a worthy goal. We had representatives here today from every type of organisation working with homeless people in our community and they all had a unique Sunshine Coast perspective to bring to the table. I know that the Assistant Minister has heard that feedback and I’m sure our community’s experiences will help inform the Federal Government’s support for all Australians into the future.” Mr Wallace said.

Attendees at the Roundtable included Coast2Bay, Sunny Street, Glass Housing 55, Caloundra Community Centre and IFYS, who last year received $1 million from the Federal Government to deliver the Caloundra Reconnect Service. This service works to ensure that young people in Beerwah, Glass House Mountains, Landsborough, and Caloundra are able to access secure accommodation, stabilise their living situation, maintain family relationships and increase engagement with employment, education, training and the wider community.

IFYS Executive Manager of Community Services Vicky Meyer said “Today’s roundtable is one step in working toward solutions through talking to stakeholders on the Coast who deliver services, getting their observations and their ideas in that space. IFYS is very fortunate to receive Federal funding for our Reconnect service, so that we can support young people who are at risk of homelessness. But in the end this is a big issue for the Sunshine Coast, and there is no one size fits all solution. Today reflects that it is a combination of service providers who have to come to together to work together to do this. There’s no one agency and one solution. My wishlist is very long!”

For more information on the Government’s support for community housing and homelessness visit https://www.dss.gov.au/housing-support

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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575