Woeful lack of resourcing means no end in sight for homelessness in Australia

Woeful lack of resourcing means no end in sight for homelessness in Australia

RMIT expert available to talk to media for Homelessness Week: ‘To end homelessness, we need a plan’.

Dr David Kelly, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT (0401796808 or david.kelly2@rmit.edu.au)

Topics: Homelessness, crisis accommodation, social housing, the pandemic hotel response.

“We essentially ended homelessness in 2020, during the pandemic lockdown. Stay-at-home orders demanded a well-resourced homelessness response and unconditional access to shelter.

“The homelessness sector was afforded a rare opportunity to test their own recommendations to improve the system, to offer better accommodation, access increased government funding, support longer tenancies and offer wrap-around support. This effectively ended many forms of homelessness in Melbourne.

“There has been a woeful lack of resourcing and no unconditional right to housing. We have structural barriers such as housing unaffordability and no public housing supply, meaning that even if there were more money in the homelessness sector, there are no exit points into long-term secure housing.

“Ending homelessness requires a whole-of-government response along the precarity pipeline — from strong and ongoing support services to the decriminalisation of poverty, an adequate well-regulated emergency accommodation infrastructure, supply of long-term housing with social rents and ultimately a move to definancialise the housing system.” 

Dr David Kelly is a Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT. He is cultural geographer specialising in ethnographic methods. David’s research includes a focus on remote Aboriginal housing, inner-city public housing, disability in the city, environmental controversy and green-led urban regeneration.


Interviews: Dr David Kelly, 0401796808 or david.kelly2@rmit.edu.au

General media enquiries: RMIT Communications, 0439 704 077 or news@rmit.edu.au


01 August 2022


01 August 2022


  • Society
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Government & Politics
  • Social services

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.