Veteran housing to be boosted under new initiative
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has welcomed a positive step forward in the fight against homelessness among the veteran community.
Mr Thompson said he had been working closely with Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Minister Darren Chester to find solutions for former serving personnel who don’t have permanent suitable accommodation. One of these has been the latest move to strengthen the relationship between housing providers, DVA, ex-service organisations (ESOs) and Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling.
“It’s a national disgrace that veterans who have served our country in the armed forces would fall into homelessness which is why it’s so important that we act,” he said.
“It’s an issue which has come up in my many meetings with representatives of our veteran community, and because we are the country’s largest garrison city we are over-represented in the statistics.”
The new initiative includes a new set of industry standards, training materials and a toolkit being developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA).
“This is about ensuring that when DVA is made aware of a veteran who might need some support when it comes to housing, these organisations will cooperate to make sure they’re being looked after,” Mr Thompson said.
“This means organisations in Townsville like Centacare North Queensland and Cootharinga North Queensland Ltd will be able work hand in glove with the veteran community to help find solutions.
“We don’t know exactly how many veterans there are in Townsville, but next year’s census will include a question about Australian Defence Force service for the first time. This data will give us a better idea of the extent of this issue and help us to target support even more carefully.”
CHIA organisations manage 100,000 rental properties across Australia. A list of providers in Queensland can be found at https://www.communityhousing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/[email protected]?x73896.