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New Housing Ministry Good Step Forward

The Salvation Army welcomes the creation of a stand-alone ministry to coordinate and drive solutions to the housing crisis

The establishment of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, creates the possibility for a centralised agency to consider the whole housing continuum, from homelessness to people affording their own homes, says Lt-Colonel Ian Hutson, Director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.

At present, the effort is disjointed, with agencies concentrating on only one part of the solutions required. An overly complicated process and the need to go to various government agencies in putting together a housing project has caused frustration in the community and private sector efforts in working with Government to find housing solutions, Lt-Colonel Hutson says.

“If we’re going to address the housing crisis we need a concentrated effort between all the agencies, government, local government, community housing providers and the private resources in banking, planning, construction and development. The new ministry as a central authority will help this to happen.”

While the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is a welcome step forward, more resources over and above those allocated in last month’s budget will still be required to put a dent in the current housing shortage, Lt-Colonel Hutson says.

The new ministry gives an opportunity to concentrate the housing-related skills in the State sector. However, it is still the quality of these skills and efforts that will be essential to meeting the Government's goal and targets in solving the housing crisis

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