Homeless services get another year ahead of efficiency drive

SERVICES for Australia's homeless people will be guaranteed for just one year in Queensland and New South Wales - and the long-term future remains uncertain.

After much disquiet among service providers about the future of the National Partnership on Homelessness, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed on Tuesday it had been continued.

But the Abbott government is still waiting on South Australia and Tasmania to sign up to the $115 million one-year extension.

The extension will secure 12 more months for housing, hostel and support services for Australia's homeless, but no guarantees have been provided after June 2015.

Mr Andrews said the extended agreement would ensure programs could continue, especially for "many focused on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence".

"This one-year extension of the (agreement) will enable the Government to re-assess Commonwealth housing and homelessness policy with the object of doing things more efficiently," he said.

"Over the coming year, we will look at what improvements can be made to achieve lasting reductions in the number of homeless Australians."

The long-term future of the agreement will likely be renegotiated through COAG meetings later this year.


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