The National Housing And Homelessness Agreement 2018
While state and territory governments are primarily responsible for housing and homelessness, the Commonwealth provides funding for housing assistance and homelessness services. These include Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help authorised Australians with their rental costs and the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA), which began on 1 July 2018. In a positive sign for the sector, the NHHA cites the construction of collective housing as one of its six priority areas. Under the NHHA, state and territory governments are responsible for setting priorities and the nature and location of funded services. National and territorial governments also take decisions regarding social and community housing, including the construction, allocation and renovation of housing. By virtue of its obligations, the Commonwealth undertakes to make a financial contribution to States; monitoring and evaluation of performance to ensure that results are delivered within agreed deadlines; and guide the development of data enhancements and a coherent national data set containing data from States by a working group on housing and homelessness data. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the new legislation will improve accountability or transparency when it comes to the use of taxpayers` money. Since the NHHA is being developed, it requires little more from state and territory governments than to develop an annual housing plan and an annual homelessness plan to provide better data and reports on housing-related activities. The NHHA includes $125 million earmarked for homeless services in 2019-20. States and territories will adapt this funding. NHFIC will manage the affordable housing bond aggregator to provide lower-cost, longer-term financing to multi-unit housing providers.
The introduction of the bill to the Senate Economic Committee required greater accountability for the use of Commonwealth funds under the agreement and an observable improvement in the supply of social and affordable housing. During the Senate Economics References Committee`s inquiry in January 2018, the chairman of the Senate Economics References Committee, Michael Lennon, reiterated the call for a national housing strategy to ensure the critical national oversight needed to address Australia`s social housing deficit. Under the NHHA, to secure funding, state and territory governments must have publicly accessible housing and homelessness strategies and help improve data collection and reporting. Starting in 2018-19, the Commonwealth will provide state and territory governments with an estimated $1,536 million (exclusive to GST), with the Commonwealth`s 2019-20 financial contribution being consistently indexed and indexed annually. The agreement expires on 30 June 2023 and will be replaced by the written agreement of the Commonwealth and the States for an additional period of up to five years. Amendment of the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009 to allow the Commonwealth to provide financial assistance to states for housing, homelessness and affordable prices, by introducing free national payment for housing services; and the provision of ongoing financing under a first-time home contract, a complementary housing contract or a designated housing contract. The National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) began on 1 July 2018 and makes approximately $1.5 billion available to states and territories each year to improve Australians` access to safe and affordable housing across the range of housing. Homelessness strategies should address priority NHHA cohorts and outline reforms or initiatives to reduce the incidence of homelessness. Priority homeless cohorts include: Housing strategies should address NHHA priority policies, which are relevant to the state or territory.
The overall goal of the NHHA is to improve housing opportunities for low-income people and to fund services for the homeless.