Daily News - Friday 17 October 2014
'Housing stress' on the rise
New data that shows government rental assistance helps 44% of low-income earners suffering "housing stress" to find a home has given further backing to maintain the scheme.
A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, released Wednesday, reinforced the role of the rental subsidies and social housing in helping low-income Australians find a home.
While the report focused on housing assistance programs, it has also backed Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews' plans to close loopholes in the scheme that were being exploited by wealthy foreign students.
The report found that since 2007-08, the proportion of low-income households in rental stress (spending more than 30% of their income on rent) rose from 37% to 44% in 2011-12.
Mission Australia chief calls on government to boost housing
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
One of the nation’s biggest welfare groups, Mission Australia, has called on governments to boost the social housing supply in Australia as a new report shows demand from low-income households continues to grow.
The Abbott government has announced there will be a wideranging review of housing and homelessness policy across state and federal governments.
“A comprehensive solution from all levels of government, business, and the community sector is needed to address these housing affordability challenges and deliver more affordable housing so all Australians can afford a place to call home,” Mission Australia chief executive Catherine Yeomans said yesterday.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report — Housing outcomes for groups vulnerable to homelessness: 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013 — found that people who were unemployed, had no income or were receiving only income-support payments, had a past history of homelessness and more complex presenting issues were least likely to remain in or be able to obtain housing.
Using data from specialist homelessness agencies, this bulletin examines four cohorts vulnerable to homelessness and the differences in the housing outcomes both across and within the groups. It seeks to better understand why some people in these groups may retain or attain housing while others become or stay homeless. It is expected that well known factors which make people more vulnerable to homelessness will also be key factors in their housing outcomes following support. This bulletin seeks to confirm that this is the case and also provide an indication of the extent of the impact of these factors.
Homelessness and poverty could strike anyone in Canberra, say three who've been there
Ben Westcott, The Canberra Times
No matter your job or where you've come from, with the wrong streak of bad luck anyone can end up in poverty and homelessness, say three Canberrans who've already been there.
For Jayson Perrin, Anthony O'Hara and Kylie Ofiu it was the kindness of a few strangers and volunteers who helped them break the cycle of severe poverty.
Speaking at a conference for Anti-Poverty Week 2014, Mr Perrin said he lived in his car with his baby daughter for nine months while on the waiting list for government housing.
Whyalla - Party in the Park recognises Anti-Poverty Week
Kayleigh Bruce, Whyalla News
A free community “party” will be held at McRitchie Crescent Park as part of Anti-Poverty Week.
Coordinated by Centacare Country SA, ‘Party in the Park’ was scheduled to take place on Monday however due to wet and windy weather it was postponed.
The family-fun event will see a range of local support organisations on hand to provide information and free activities to promote financial and emotional resilience.
Ceduna - Help to overcome hardship issues
Vanessa Binks, West Coast Sentinel
Centacare marked Anti-Poverty Week, which runs from October 12 to 18, with an information display at the Ceduna Community Library
The week encourages all Australians to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship.
The community display aimed to provide accessible information about budgeting, debts, bills and day-to-day living expenses.
Anti-Poverty Week in Shoalhaven
Lisa Wachsmuth and Jodie Duffy, South Coast Register
More than 50,000 Shoalhaven and Illawarra residents are living below the poverty line, according to a review by the Illawarra Forum.
Chief executive Nicky Sloan said the most recent statistics by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling revealed about 17 per cent of the Shoalhaven population was considered to be in poverty, while 13.6 per cent of Wollongong and Shellharbour residents were.
Bendigo - Advice available at free Anti-Poverty Week events
Kieran Iles, Bendigo Advertiser
Bendigo people experiencing money worries can attend a Bring Your Bills Day event in Hargreaves Mall at 1.30pm today.
The free Anti-Poverty Week event at the Bendigo Library will offer struggling people a chance to speak directly with financial counselling teams.
It is an initiative of St Luke’s Anglicare, Haven Home Safe, Bendigo Family, Coliban Water and St Vinnies.
The Government must provide opportunities to people in poverty
Rachel Siewert, SBS
Last week I heard Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, speak about the soaring levels of hunger and poverty in the US.
He described US social policies as being fundamentally flawed, and urged us not to go down that same road, saying "do not follow our social policy, Australia".
Unfortunately that is exactly what we seem to be doing.
US - White House Wants Poor Parents to Speak More to Kids
Maya Rhodan, Time
By reading and talking to babies from birth, research has shown kids can enter school better prepared for success
At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, a new program is about to get underway that serves a purpose near to both the Obama White House and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton care a great deal about.
Benioff is one of two locations where Too Small to Fail, a joint venture between the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, is launching a pilot program that will expand their efforts to close the so-called word gap. A little over a year ago, Too Small to Fail was started with the goal of getting more parents talking, singing, and reading to their kids starting from birth. Studies have shown children born to higher-income families are exposed to some 30 million more words than their counterparts on welfare before the reach kindergarten.
Young jobless to be taught life skills
Sid Maher, The Australian ($)
Long-term unemployed youths in regional jobless hot spots will be given life-skills training in computer literacy, budgeting and teamwork as part of radical new plans to get them into work.
As part of its competitiveness package, the government announced yesterday two pilot schemes for 15-24-year-olds that will teach practical skills and literacy, language and numeracy support.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane released a discussion paper on the $44 million programs that warned youth unemployment was almost double the national unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent.
Industry Skills Fund – Youth Pilot Programmes Discussion Paper
Department of Industry
he Department of Industry is seeking stakeholder input on the design of the pilot programmes, Training for Employment Scholarships and the Youth Employment Pathways.
A discussion paper has been prepared to provide more information on the design and implementation of the pilots. Feedback from this paper will inform the final programme guidelines and stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on the design considerations contained in this paper.
27 recommendations give a blueprint to end disparity
Tony Jones, Lateline, ABC
With the deadline for public submissions now passed, mining entrepreneur Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest is waiting for the Abbott Government to respond to his blueprint of tackling persistently high rates of Indigenous employment and welfare reliance. But some welfare lobbyists have criticised key elements of his 27 recommendations as a massive social experiment on low income earners. Andrew Forrest joins us now in our Melbourne studio.
Get real on delivering, measuring and communicating social change by attending the Think Outcomes conference which is a two-day forum on 20-21 November 2014 at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney. Explore, learn and develop a plan of action to start effecting real outcomes-based change in your organisation.
Charities should focus on retaining rather than obtaining donors, says consultant Roger Craver
Susannah Birkwood, Third Sector
Charities are losing large sums of money by focusing on acquiring new donors rather than retaining existing ones, according to Roger Craver, a US-based fundraising consultant.
Craver is author of the book Retention Fundraising and editor of the fundraising website The Agitator. He told delegates to the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands yesterday that charities should invest more in retaining existing donors because they had a 60 to 70 per cent chance of getting gifts from them, but a less than 2 per cent chance with a new prospect.
Vote for ACNC’s Future Deadlocked
Pro Bono News
A balance-of-power Senator has declared that he will vote against abolishing the ACNC, cancelling out one of his fellow crossbenchers votes.
Independent Senator John Madigan said that he found Federal Government plans to scrap the national charity regulator “bewildering”.
It comes as a spokesperson for crossbench Senator David Leyonhjelm from the Liberal Democratic Party told Pro Bono Australia News he does not support the ACNC.
Former Howard government minister Jackie Kelly quits the Liberal Party
Latika Bourke, The Brisbane Times
She was once a darling of the Howard government for winning the prized Western Sydney seat of Lindsay but Jackie Kelly has quit the Liberal Party and slammed it on the way out saying "lobbyists are running the Liberal Party".
Queensland - Ministers 'prostituting' themselves by selling access should be made illegal: Integrity Commissioner
Amy Remeikis, The Brisbane Times
Queensland's acting Integrity Commissioner has likened selling access to ministers through political fundraisers to prostitution, calling for the practice to be made illegal.
And he said the Newman Government had repeatedly rejected his calls to make more lobbyists publicly accountable.
In an extraordinary paper released on the Integrity Commissioner's website on Thursday, David Solomon took aim at governments that change political donation rules to allow donors to remain anonymous and said it "confirmed in the public mind the low regard they have for politicians".
Synod's promotion of 'gradualism' does little for several fundamental human rights issues
Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter
The Catholic church still needs to move on several fundamental human rights issues, including the full participation of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in church and society. Those of us who are working and waiting for these changes are not going to be jumping up and down with glee over moderate pastoral suggestions that, quite frankly, should have been implemented years ago.
What if we applied gradualism to the attainment of those issues? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the full human rights of women is a moral good. Gradualism would say that those who cannot accept the full human rights of women should be praised for their small steps toward that moral good.
So rather than admonish the church for preventing women from answering their call to priesthood, we could praise the church for no longer considering us defective human beings. Or for allowing us to become altar servers -- in most dioceses, at least.
Will conservatives turn on Pope Francis?
John L Allen, Crux
As the Synod of Bishops continues to produce drama, coming today in a surprise decision to release frank internal reports of its debates, one big-picture question captured by the event seems to be coming into clear focus.
Here it is in a nutshell: Is a tipping point drawing close, when conservatives who have been inclined to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt will, instead, turn on him?
Francis: Faith leads to generous love, not hypocrisy
Catholic News Service
Faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws, Pope Francis has said in a morning homily.
God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is “working in charity,” making sacrifices for others, the Pope said on Tuesday during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“Jesus condemns this cosmetic spirituality — appearing good, beautiful, but the truth that’s inside is a whole other thing,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.