Report reveals plans to help homeless failing despite action
HOMELESSNESS prevention initiatives are not working or targets to reduce the growing problem are unrealistic, Queensland's Auditor-General has concluded.
Auditor-General Andrew Greaves, in a report tabled in Queensland Parliament, said the $284.6 million Australian and Queensland governments contributed to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness would not achieve its goal to reduce homelessness by 7% by 2013.
The report, about implementing the national agreement in Queensland, found the 31 initiatives the Queensland Government had implemented were not all effective, "not for want of action".
The aim of the NPAH, formed in 2008, was to target and reduce rough sleepers, people experiencing homelessness more than once, those escaping violence, children and young people exiting care and protection, Indigenous people and those exiting social housing and institutional care, such as health, mental health, juvenile justice or adult prisons.
Mr Greaves has recommended the department develop relevant and verifiable output performance measures for the quality and timeliness of services for each initiative.
He also recommended the department collect and analyse client satisfaction data and strengthen quality assurance framework for data collection and report.
Mr Greaves said it should track base spending separately for state and national funding in management reports for the NPAH.
Homelessness Australia research and policy officer Travis Gilbert said Queensland was the second state to raise those concerns, with Victoria last week citing problems with data collection.
He said the peak body would go back to the Federal Government to reiterate recommendations about keeping data in one place and accounting for homelessness spending.
"What we've found with a lot of the housing money is that states and territories can't properly account for where it's been spent," he said.
Mr Gilbert said the organisation previously had high hopes for Queensland because so much of the state lived outside the capital so the money would be diversified through programs in regional areas.