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Government's inquiry into homelessness legislation (2009)

Government's inquiry into homelessness legislation

A homeless man sleeping on the street

The Government's inquiry report was released on 26 November 2009.

On the 26 November the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth released its report of an inquiry into homelessness legislation. The inquiry followed the federal government’s release, on 21 December 2008, of its White Paper, The Road Home: A National Approach to Reducing Homelessness. In the White Paper, the government pledged to ‘enact new legislation to ensure that people who are homeless receive quality services and adequate support.’

The Government's inquiry into homelessness legislation made 15 recommendations regarding new homelessness legislation, including a key recommendation that homelessness legislation should specify the right of all Australians to adequate housing. The report makes a direct link between social inclusion, human rights and homelessness.

Further information on the inquiry and the report can be found at:

The Australian Human Rights Commission made a submission to the inquiry, and we encouraged all stakeholders in Australia to participate.

The Commission considers that any response to homelessness in Australia must adopt a human rights-based approach if it is to be effective.

The focus of the Commission’s submission was on three key human rights principles: the right to adequate housing; the right to substantive equality; and the right to participation. The Commission focused on how these should be incorporated into any new legislation and how they should be taken into account in the law-making process.

Commission submission

Commission materials

Other materials – Australian

Other materials – International