Every night there are 116,000 Australians sleeping without a home. They are mothers and children escaping family violence, young people with little support, families unable to keep up with rent, people living with disabilities. Once, homelessness was thought by many to be something that happens to other people, but that’s changing.
Homelessness is a growing crisis in Australia. Rising interest rates mean landlords have needed to increase rents. Add to rising rents the increase in cost of living and basic necessities such as food and heating and you can understand why, for many families living on Centrelink payments, housing has become simply unaffordable.
The theme for this year’s Homelessness Week was ‘to end homelessness we need a plan’, and at SSRV we believe that plan needs to address the rate of Centrelink payments and issues of equality and accessibility to social security.
Without a liveable rate of social security, families will continue to be unable to afford to pay rent. Without equal access to social security, the number of the most vulnerable people in our communities experiencing homelessness will continue to grow.
SSRV will continue to work for real change to our social security system, while providing free legal advice on social security and Centrelink matters for people right across Victoria.