Uniting Vic.Tas is urging the Federal Government to maintain critical funding for homelessness services already struggling to keep up with record demand and a housing crisis.
The Victorian Government has written to the state’s homelessness services warning that the Federal Government has decided not to renew its funding as part of the Equal Remuneration Order beyond June 30 this year.
The Equal Remuneration Order was introduced in 2012 to cover social and community workers recognising the sector’s predominantly female workforce had been historically lower paid because of their gender. The dedicated workforce in the sector deserves fair pay and without proper support from government to back this up, services will be left with a shortfall.
Uniting Vic.Tas CEO, Bronwyn Pike said if the ERO funding for homelessness support services was not maintained, the organisation would lose $1.254 million in 2023–2024 financial year.
“It’s extremely distressing that we’re already having to turn people away from our homelessness services because the demand is at record levels,” Ms Pike said.
“Without this funding, it will mean a longer wait for help or we’ll have to turn even more people away and that’s the last thing we want to do.
“Our homelessness and housing support services are already at breaking point – we don’t want to see more people having to sleep on the streets or in their cars.
“This funding cut will impact not just housing and homelessness support, it will have a significant knock–on effect on all our crisis services.
“Last year, with Swinburne University we released a report which laid bare the devasting impact of the rising cost of living on people on low incomes. A growing number of people can barely afford to keep a roof over their heads let alone pay their bills or put food on the table.
“In the middle of a housing crisis, the last thing the housing and homelessness support sector needs is a funding cut – it will be devastating.”
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