Canberra, May 23 (IANS) The number of homeless people in Australia living on the streets or in cars has spiked amid a housing crisis, a report has found.
In its Homelessness and Stable Housing Impact Report, charity organisation Mission Australia revealed that the demand for its homeless support services has increased by 26 per cent over the last three years, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the report, the number of people experiencing homelessness has increased by 50 per cent in the same period while there has been a 103 per cent increase in people in improvised homes, tents and rough sleeping.
Of those who used Mission Australia’s homelessness services, 57 per cent were female and 27 percent were Indigenous despite making up about 3 per cent of the total population.
“Low-income support payments or low wages, combined with the stark shortage of social and affordable housing, skyrocketing rental stress and the rising cost of living, have escalated Australia’s housing and homelessness situation into a national emergency,” said the report.
On average, 300 requests for help are turned away every day as more people need help from homelessness services across the country, mainly because there was no accommodation available.
Sharon Callister, chief executive of Mission Australia, used the report to call for governments at all levels to act on the housing crisis.
According to data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in April, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 7 per cent in the 12 months to March — down from 7.8 per cent in the year to December.
Responding to the data, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australia had passed the peak of the inflation crisis but that cost-of-living pressures were still being felt around the kitchen tables of this country.