Homelessness Inquiry Report Released
24 June 2023
This Report is the most intensive and thorough inquiry of this parliament.
The Inquiry was conducted over 19 months, received 49 submissions, conducted 18 site visits to homelessness services and held 27 public hearings including with the Department of Communities
Over 300 pages with 29 findings and 57 recommendations this is one of the most comprehensive report tables in the WA Parliament.
There are some major common themes.
WA has a strongly supported homelessness strategy – All Paths Lead to a Home’, Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030 –
But we are not ending homelessness. It is in fact rough sleeping is growing.
Because not enough is being invested to end homelessness and especially rough sleeping.
Western Australia had the highest proportion of people living in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out (24% of all people experiencing homelessness). … Western Australians comprise 30% of the total number of people living in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out in Australia in 2021 (2,315 out of 7,636).
Need to invest more to immediately address the shortage of emergency accommodation AND immediately address the shortage of social housing.
Fund what works, not what you always have
Most contracts are from around 2022 and are subject to rolling short-term extensions making if difficult for service providers to plan and deliver services. Most of what is funded is contracts rolled over annually from a decade ago well before the current strategy.
The report highlights the need to support what works don’t just keep funding what you have always funded.
Key successful pilots remain unfunded, they are successes without future funding including 50 homes 50 lives and My Home.
This is why homelessness approach is not working.
Homelessness needs a massive injection of new funds to shift to a new model that can end homelessness not just manage it. Only then can the savings that we know exist but a poorly quantified be realized.
2.46 Aboriginal people experience homelessness at a highly disproportionate rate in Western Australia.
10 times the average population rate – Western Australia has the second highest rate of Aboriginal homelessness in Australia (381 people per 10,000) rest 37
In Western Australia, approximately one in three people experiencing homelessness is Aboriginal, 50 while approximately one in 30 of the general population is Aboriginal.
Another key theme is transparency and sharing data.
We hope this report can lead to a major shift in homelessness funding so we end it not just manage it.
We have seen some good steps but they are too small to end homelessness – to get across this chasm we need a huge leap