Media Release Wednesday 6 August 2014

The ACT Labor government needs to work to increase housing affordability in Canberra with this week being National Homeless Person’s Week, Shadow Minister for Housing Nicole Lawder said today.

"There is no doubt that homelessness is an issue in Canberra and I implore the government to focus on improving housing options for vulnerable Canberrans," Ms Lawder said.

"Homelessness has complex interactions with other parts of a person’s life. For example, it is difficult to get or maintain a job if you are homeless. A quarter of people experiencing homelessness were charged with a criminal offence in the past six months while one in three of those in prison reported being homeless the month before.

"The answer to reducing homelessness lies in making housing more affordable along with targeted support to enable people to sustain their tenancies.

"This week is National Homeless Person’s Week and in the Assembly I will today call for the government to increase the supply of affordable housing. It needs to continue to develop models to reduce disadvantage for Canberrans living on the edge.

"This issue is not one that should be partisan. It is an issue we should all support.

"This is an issue that can’t be swept under the carpet. More needs to be done and I will continue to fight for those at most disadvantage," Ms Lawder concluded.

Contact: Joe Prevedello 0402 768 432