More than 1000 ‘turned away’ as ACT homelessness funding falls

The ACT turned away more than 1000 people in need of accommodation last year, with federal and territory funding for homelessness services falling over the last five years.

The Productivity Commission’s latest Report on Government Services (RoGS) showed of the 3323 people who reached out for help with accommodation in 2016-17, nearly one-third (32.6 per cent) were turned away.

Only NSW and Victoria fared worse, with 37.2 per cent and 36.5 per cent of homeless clients turned away.

On average, 1.7 requests for accommodation services went unmet each day in the ACT in 2016-17. Those requests included calls for short-term of emergency housing, medium-term of transitional housing, or long-term accommodation.

A further 8600 low-income ACT households experienced rental stress in 2015-16, placing residents at risk of homelessness. Rental stress occurs when more than 30 per cent of gross household income is spent on rent

But the number of people being turned away from homelessness services has gradually fallen in the past five years.

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