Uniting Vic.Tas has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to provide $67.5 million to address a looming funding shortfall for homelessness services.
Funding for the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation for homelessness services had been due to expire on June 30 this year.
ERO 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.
Without the ongoing funding, Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said the organisation stood to lose $1.254 million for 2023-2024, which would have had a devastating impact on homelessness support services.
“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis and our homelessness support services are stretched like never before, so this funding commitment is critical,” Ms Pike said.
Recent Census figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this week show the depth of the crisis with homelessness in Victoria growing by 24 per cent over the past five years. Over this same period, homelessness rates in Tasmania have almost doubled, increasing by 45 per cent.
“Our aim is to ensure everyone has a secure roof over their head. This commitment gives certainty and security for our homeless support services and for our workforce in knowing they’ll be able to continue doing what they do best.
“We all need to work together to make homelessness a thing of the past, so we’re pleased the Government has listened to our concerns and acted.”