VCOSS MEDIA RELEASE
New Census data revealing a 13.6% increase in homelessness demonstrates just how far Australia has to go to solve this devastating issue.
“This is a wake up call to all Australians,” VCOSS CEO Emma King said.
“A bipartisan, coordinated, compassionate and sustained multi-prong response is desperately needed.”
In Victoria the data shows an 11.2% increase in homelessness over the past five years. More than 24,000 people are now homeless on any given night.
The biggest driver of the increase in Victoria is a form of hidden homelessness. The number of people squeezing themselves into severely overcrowded housing has blown out by 48%.
It is Victoria’s young and old that are bearing the brunt of homelessness. About 40% of Victoria’s homeless population is aged between 19 and 34.
At the same time, the number of older Victorians experiencing homelessness has exploded, with the number of homeless people aged over 65 increasing by 35%.
“For all the great strides that have been made in Victoria combatting homelessness over recent years, these figures show we have a lot more to do.”
“We need better support for homelessness services, we need to stop demonising and criminalising people experiencing homelessness, we need a more affordable private rental market and we need a dramatic increase in social housing—including both public and community housing.”
“Making sure people have a roof over their head is the best way to begin solving all the other challenges in their life,” Ms King said.
You can read more about this issue in the 2018-19 VCOSS State Budget Submission.
N.B., the ABS definition of “severely overcrowded” is when a home needs three or more extra bedrooms to accommodate every person.