Deal fails to see decline in homelessness on nation's streets

A $1.1BILLION deal to reduce homeless across the nation, which aimed to reduce homelessness by 7% by July this year, is likely to fail, an audit of the national program has revealed.

The Australian National Audit Office released its report on the implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness on Wednesday.

It revealed that rather than reducing homelessness by 7% in the five years to July 2013, the number of people living on Australia's streets actually grew by 17%.

The audit found meeting the primary target of the billion-dollar agreement would be "extremely challenging and is unlikely to be achieved".

This was despite the Commonwealth throwing $550 million at the deal, with the support of more than $670 million from the state and territory governments.

The nation's three most populous states, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, each contributed $251 million, $148 million and $104 million to the deal respectively.

Despite more than 180 new initiatives being funded through the deal, the audit found it was unclear which initiatives were most successful in reducing and breaking the cycle of homelessness.

The audit found state and territory governments were not required to report financial information to the Commonwealth, and the funding was not attached to any milestone or outcome reporting.

It found this lack of reporting and public accountability under the agreement reduced the Federal Government's ability to find out what had worked and what did not.


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