From time to time State and Federal Governments in Australia conduct inquiries into social policy, program and infrastructure issues which may also be of concern to the Mercy Foundation.Over the past decade the Mercy Foundation has continued to make submissions to housing, homelessness, poverty, human rights, anti-slavery and other related inquiries. Those submissions can be read in the attached documents.
We are aware that Government inquiries may not always result in practical change or outcomes, however we believe that it is essential that as many informed voices as possible are heard on these issues. Some government inquiries have had and have the potential to make significant change to policy that can address key social justice issues. We have in the past and will continue in the future to make submissions to relevant government inquiries.
The first submission by the Mercy Foundation to a government inquiry into Homelessness was in 2008 in response to the Federal Government’s commitment to reduce homelessness in Australia. The Foundation made a submission to the Federal Government’s Green Paper on Homelessness in 2008. Mercy Foundation Submission-to-Green-Paper 2008 The Green Paper was then followed by the White Paper: The Road Home. The Road Home – A National Approach to Reducing Homelessness 2008
In the same year (2008) the NSW Government held an Inquiry into Homelessness and Low Cost Rental Accommodation. The Mercy Foundation made a submission and was also invited to give verbal evidence The inquiry received 66 written submissions and representatives from a number of organisations.The report from the inquiry identified 17 recommendations. The Mercy Foundation was pleased to note a number of the recommendations, including a specific recommendation on the Common Ground model: That Housing NSW in liaison with the Department of Planning and NSW Health identify and assess potential sites for additional Common Ground-type developments that have the necessary support structures available in the local area. Earlier in 2008, the Mercy Foundation had convened a Sydney Common Ground Working group which had been advocating for the development of at least one Common Ground permanent supportive housing development be implemented in Sydney.
The Ageing on the Edge NSW Forum Housing Justice for older people in NSW Pre-Budget Submission 20/21 The Mercy Foundation joined a coalition of organisations to promote policy recommendations critical to addressing the needs of older people facing housing stress and homelessness.