The Mercy Foundation co-signed an open letter from the AAEH calling on our Prime Minister to lead the development of a COVID-19 National Response Plan for Homeless People Sleeping Rough, which must include investments to:
➔ Maintain current crisis responses for people sleeping rough for as long as is necessary
➔ Rapidly house and support people who have been temporarily sheltered – including through the use of medium-term private rental subsidies
➔ Support community efforts to better meet, track and help prevent future rough sleeping homelessness through improved coordination of housing and support services
➔ Build more social housing in Australia and provide the needed supports, including dedicated supportive housing initiatives
➔ Ensure income support payments are adequate.
Much has been achieved for people sleeping rough since the pandemic started, with an estimated 7,000 rough sleepers temporarily housed to keep them safe. The Australian Alliance to End Homelessness and signatories committed to working collaboratively with federal, state and territory governments to address this issue.
“There has never been a better time to seek to end rough sleeping homelessness in Australia than right now and we the undersigned encourage your Government to urgently lead the development of a COVID-19 National Rough Sleeping Homelessness Pandemic Response Plan.”