• Mission Australia welcomes the National Housing Accord as a very promising step towards addressing Australia’s housing affordability crisis.
  • Mission Australia is concerned the Government hasn’t adequately increased JobSeeker. Income support must be urgently increased amid skyrocketing cost of living pressures.
  • Mission Australia welcomes community services funding supplementation as a first step in meeting the funding gap.
  • Mission Australia welcomes two-year extension of the Disability Employment Services program.
  • Mission Australia welcomes investment in the Office for Youth and Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.

Homelessness and housing

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said: “As a provider of homelessness services and a Community Housing Provider, we welcome the Federal Government’s plan for one million new homes as a strong commitment towards addressing housing affordability in Australia.

While we need to understand more of the detail, the National Housing Accord announced in tonight’s Budget seems to offer a very promising beginning for greatly improving housing affordability in Australia.

“It is encouraging to see the Federal Government working with the State and Territory Governments and industry stakeholders to work towards solutions for Australia’s housing affordability crisis. We urge the Government to include Community Housing Providers as an essential stakeholder in these discussions.

"The announcement of the National Housing Accord acknowledges that the stark shortage of social and affordable housing, soaring cost of renting and resulting rental stress, declining availability of affordable rentals and rising cost of living are currently accelerating Australia’s housing and homelessness crisis.

“Finding a safe, secure and affordable place to call home and being able to afford life’s essentials are ever-pressing needs for many people on low and middle incomes.

“We welcome the National Housing Accord, and beyond that the National Housing and Homelessness Plan, and look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure these measures are designed, developed and implemented to make the most of this game-changing commitment. We need to ensure that these measures work for those most in need.”

Income support

Mission Australia’s CEO, Sharon Callister said: “As cost of living and housing pressures go through the roof, people who rely on income support are unable to pay for many of the essentials of life.

“Mission Australia acknowledges the $33 billion allocated to income support in the Budget over the forward estimates, which reflects rises in payments linked to the cost of inflation and the projection that unemployment will worsen in the coming years. However, this does nothing to adequately increase support to a level that keeps people out of poverty and homelessness.

“The JobSeeker rate remains an inadequate $48 a day, which is stopping people from getting back into work. No one can survive or get back into work if they can’t afford stable housing, regular meals, transport to interviews and appropriate clothing.

“The Federal Government must urgently increase the base rate of income support payments, so they are sufficient and keep people out of poverty and homelessness, as well as increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by at least 50 per cent.””

Community Services funding supplementation

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said: “Across Australia, inflation is pushing up real costs for individuals, families, businesses, and essential community services. It is putting at risk the scope of community services support that can be delivered to people in need.

“The Federal Government’s $560 million of additional funding for community services is a welcome first step in meeting the funding gap to deliver support to people in need, when they need it.

“However, we are concerned that the competitive process to access those funds will force non-profit organisations to compete with each other and will divert valuable resources towards jumping through hoops for extra funding.

“We look forward to hearing more from the Government about their future plans for the long-term adequacy and sustainability of community services.”

Disability employment

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said: “As a Disability Employment Services provider, Mission Australia welcomes the two-year extension of the Disability Employment Services program. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Government on the new program design to ensure that it can provide the best possible support for people with disability to find employment, aligned with contemporary economic conditions.”

Young people

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said: “We welcome the Budget announcement of funding for a new Office for Youth and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. The Government has recognised that now is a critical time to ensure young people are heard and should play a key role in creating and advising on solutions that will address issues that affect them, other young people, and Australia.

“Young people have the answers. It’s a matter of ensuring they are genuinely listened to, included in decision-making processes, and their concerns acted upon. Because Australia’s future rests on the shoulders of our young people.”

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