A massive funding injection is needed into social housing and homeless services, says the former head of the St Vincent de Paul Society, John Falzon. Source: The Advocate.
Mr Falzon stepped down as national chief executive earlier this year after 12 years in the top job.
He called on both sides of politics to make housing a priority.
“We need to make sure no one is sleeping rough,” Mr Falzon said.
“We need a massive investment, in the order of $10 billion, in social housing otherwise we will never address homelessness.
“People need a place to call home, not just a bed for the night. It is hard to get a job, go to school or access training if you don’t have a stable, safe environment.”
Mr Falzon, unsuccessfully sought Labor Party pre-selection in the new seat of Canberra, and is now a senior fellow on inequality and social justice with think tank Per Capita.
He has been in Tasmania recently to speak to union delegates and Labor Party members.
Mr Falzon said the provision of housing was one of the most important issues in addressing inequality.
“We need to treat housing as a human right not as a speculative sport,” he said. “Housing is too important to leave to the market. Governments must do what the markets cannot. Markets are clearly incapable of guaranteeing the essentials of life, including housing.”