Friday, 06 February 2009 00:00

Major Church Providers say stimulus housing initiative worthwhile

Major church providers of social services in Australia have welcomed the Government’s plans to establish 20,000 new dwellings to bolster Australia’s social housing stock detailed at a briefing session at Parliament House in Canberra today.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Treasurer Wayne Swan, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin, and Minister for Housing and the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek met with representatives from the major church providers and their colleagues from the community sector and the housing industry.

Representatives from Anglicare Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare Australia spoke to the Prime Minister about the details of the package and plans for its rapid implementation.

We welcome the urgency that the Government is bringing to bare on this matter and are confident that this housing initiative can work.

We are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to bypassing bureaucracy and cutting red tape to get homes on the ground where they are needed.

Hot on the heels of The Road Home, the Government’s homelessness white paper, church groups and community agencies across the country are ready to act now.

The housing initiative detailed today meets the twin imperatives of providing long overdue social housing dwellings and creating urgently needed jobs in the face of the downturn.

We stand ready to assist the Coordinator General of the stimulus package Michael Mrdak, and look forward to further discussion with Mr Mrdak and the Government in the days ahead.

The major church provider networks provide the majority of social services in Australia. Spokespeople include:

Kasy Chambers, Executive Director, Anglicare Australia
Frank Quinlan, Executive Director, Catholic Social Services Australia
Major Brad Halse, The Salvation Army
Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director, Uniting Care Australia

6 February 2009

Contacts: Judith Tokley, Catholic Social Services Australia 0408 824 306
Kasy Chambers, Anglicare Australia 0401 494 380
Major Brad Halse, The Salvation Army, 0417 537 950
Michael Brown, UnitingCare Australia 0418 916 936