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INDIVIDUAL WRITTEN ESSAY POLICY ANALYSIS ON HOMELESSNESS POLICY FOR NSW

Assessment 2: Individual Written Essay Policy (Word Count – 1100)

Select a single policy topic from the list provided

  • Income Security, either
    • Parenting payment
    • Income Management
  • NDIS
  • Homelessness Policy (e.g. WA, NSW etc.)
  • Family Violence Policy(e.g. WA, NSW etc.)

Clearly choose a key policy, using the concepts and literature provided in this unit, and through your own independent research, undertake an analysis of the selected policy. Your analysis will:

  • Provide a brief history of this policy in Australia, key moments of change in either the problem and/or the policy and key social and political drivers of that change.
  • Describe and discuss the ideological influences apparent in the policy as it stands today (use the Fenna reading from assessment 1). Justify your selection.
  • Provide an example of a similar response to this issue in another jurisdiction e.g. UK, USA
  • Evaluate the extent to which this policy contributes to a more “socially just” Australia – this may require a definition of Social Justice found in the key readings.

Answer

ESSAY

Introduction

In the present assignment, the key factors of the social policy for Australia have been discussed regarding the homelessness policy of the country’s residents, especially in NSW. The issue has been discussed by critically analyzing the issue and its influence in identifying the effectiveness of jurisdiction for maintaining the social policies of Australia. Social policies are described as a change observed in the judicial system to tackle the social and political factors for implementing the change in the policies. The key concepts of social justice will be highlighted by demonstrating the ideology of policies and its brief overview to compare it with other jurisdictions.

Thesis statement: This essay aims to find out the importance of homelessness policy in the NSW state of Australia depending on the lifestyle of the citizens.

Main Body

●      A brief history of homelessness policy in NSW

Homelessness policy in Australian jurisdiction is recognized as a community issue in signifying the strength of people living homeless in Australia. The issue is widespread among most of the cities of Sydney and Melbourne as it was estimated in 2011 by examining the census of the population by the Bureau of Statistics which revealed that 100,000 residents of Australia were suffering from homelessness and was a critical issue to be managed by the government of Australia (Phillimore et al. 2022).

Australian homelessness policy was introduced in 1970 with the initiation of “The Homelessness Persons Assistance Act of 1974”. The Act was significant in extending help to homeless people by the NGOs and especially to the elderly members of society (Flatau et al. 2022). The introduction of SAAP by the Federal Government in 1985 reviewed the issue of “homelessness” as temporary. It brought about changes in the system to address the issue of homeless people by providing services to fund housing complexes (Clarke, Watts & Parsell, 2020). SAAP, as a measure of struggling to maintain the structural operation for providing the services, was abolished by the Labor government in 2007 to introduce the “National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness” to fund a valuation of AUS$ 800 m for the development of housing projects and as a significant measure for mitigating the issue of homelessness (MacKenzie et al. 2020).

●      Ideological influences in the policy

The homelessness policy was influenced by various ideological opinions, which has influenced the implementation of the policy for society.

Neoliberalism: Neoliberal ideology significantly impacts the policy introduced by the Australian government to support homeless people in society. Neoliberalism is based on individuals’ responsibility to maintain their own strength and self-support to earn their living (Aph.gov.au, 2019). The ideology has limited the scope of the government to support homeless people in society. As described by Fenna et al. (2022), political ideology also significantly impacts maintaining the policy of homelessness and implementing it in society. The ideology has also caused a shift in government policies to focus on developing the housing estates rather than supporting the social cause.

Human rights: The ideology of human rights is based on exercising the right to access a better living standard (Spinney et al. 2020). Acknowledging human rights ensures that the government has enacted policies to provide the residents of Australia with a secure place to live.

The ideology for the homelessness policy is significant in its objective to develop and construct the framework of the policy to identify the issue as a social cause.

●      Response to the issue in UK jurisdiction

The homelessness policy was also introduced in the UK legislation due to the dynamic variation of the government policies to address the changes observed in the social and political circumstances. The UK government addressed the issue of homeless people by introducing the “Homelessness Reduction Act” in 2017 to support homeless people and provide responsibility to the local authorities in implementing preventive measures to mitigate homelessness (Beer et al. 2019). The policies of the UK government also included funding of £1 billion to raise campaigns and support the homeless people in 2002 (Parsell, 2019). “The primary homelessness legislation – that is, Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 – provides the statutory underpinning for action to prevent homelessness and provide assistance to people threatened with or homeless” (Gov.uk, 2016). The UK government implemented a strategy to mitigate the social cause of homelessness by funding housing projects to build a sustainable housing plan for the distressed population in the community. Moreover, the UK government responded strongly to mitigate the issue of homelessness for deprived people by improving their lifestyle and creating an opportunity for economic growth.

●      Definition of social justice in terms of the policy

Social justice is an approach that aims at providing equal opportunities and accessibility of resources for exercising the rights to develop the community. Social justice also acts as a tool to address the discrimination issues observed in society’s structure. Social justice, as seen from the context of homelessness policy, can be described as the effectiveness of the policy by the government to ensure the accessibility of homeless people to a safe place to live, irrespective of their status in society (Batterham, 2020).

Social justice also addresses the cause of inequality observed in society’s structure to safeguard the provisions of the homelessness policy in Australia (Dss.gov.au, 2016). Social justice reduces the effect of inequality and creates a ground for providing the facilities to cater to the accessibility of services to society (Heerde et al. 2020). Homelessness policy is a major aspect of social justice as it ensures humans’ basic rights to access a secure place to maintain their livelihood. Social justice is a constructive framework to safeguard the accessibility to basic resources irrespective of the causes of social causes of discrimination.

Conclusion

Homelessness is a significant social cause and a major issue for Australian residents. The Australian government developed a policy to safeguard the provisions of society to get access to a secure place to maintain their lifestyle. “Homelessness Persons Assistance Act of 1974” aims to improve the quality of the housing estates and increase the funding for developing the projects. The concept of social justice has been of significant importance in maintaining the provision of equality for the residents in society. Different ideologies have been described as a part of this context to deal with the key policies of homelessness as viewed from different perspectives of society.

References

Clarke, A., Watts, B., & Parsell, C. (2020). Conditionality in the context of housing‐led homelessness policy: Comparing Australia’s Housing First agenda to Scotland’s “rights‐based” approach. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 55(1), 88-100.https://researchportal.hw.ac.uk/files/27004303/Clarke_Watts_Parsell_Conditionality_in_the_context_housing_led_homelessness_policy_AJSI_Special_Issue_revi_002_FINAL_ACCEPTED.pdf

Flatau, P., Lester, L., Callis, Z., Hartley, C., Barnes, E., Brebner-Griffin, K., … & Coram, V. (2022). Ending homelessness in Australia.https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zoe-Callis/publication/366683899_Ending_homelessness_in_Australia_An_evidence_and_policy_deep_dive/links/63ae6b28a03100368a3b4a8d/Ending-homelessness-in-Australia-An-evidence-and-policy-deep-dive.pdf

Phillimore, J., Fenna, A., Pandey, K. K., Drage, J., Osaghae, E. E., Powell, D. M., & Walker, A. (2022). Perspectives on local government’s place in federal systems and central–local relations. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 125-157.https://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/cjlg/article/view/8491/8117

Parsell, C. (2019). Growing wealth, increasing homelessness, and more opportunities to exercise our care to the homeless. European Journal of Homelessness _ Volume, 13(2).https://www.feantsa.org/public/user/Observatory/2019/EJH/EJH_13_2/2019_Vol13_No2_Article-1.pdf

Batterham, D. (2020). Public Perceptions of Homelessness–A Literature Review. Posjećeno, 13(8), 2022.https://cms.launchhousing.org.au/app/uploads/2020/06/Public-perceptions_a-literature-review_Final_Public.pdf

Heerde, J. A., Bailey, J. A., Toumbourou, J. W., Rowland, B., & Catalano, R. F. (2020). Prevalence of homelessness and co-occurring problems: A comparison of young adults in Victoria, Australia and Washington State, United States. Children and youth services review, 109, 104692.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058145/

Spinney, A., Beer, A., MacKenzie, D., McNelis, S., Meltzer, A., Muir, K., & Peters, A. (2020). Ending homelessness in Australia: A redesigned homelessness service system.https://osf.io/download/5fc5b7ba6ebcc6001546d52b/

MacKenzie, D., Hand, T., Zufferey, C., McNelis, S., Spinney, A., & Tedmanson, D. (2020). Redesign of a homelessness service system for young people. AHURI Final Report.https://osf.io/vzkad/download

Beer, A., Thredgold, C., Zufferey, C., Peters, A., & Spinney, A. (2019). An effective homelessness services system for older Australians.https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/migration/documents/An-effective-homelessness-services-system-for-older-Australians-Executive-Summary.pdf

Websites

Aph.gov.au, (2019), Where can I find government policies on homelessness?, Retrieved from: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Policy_and_Legal_Affairs/HomelessnessinAustralia/Report/section?id=committees%2Freportrep%2F024522%2F75164, [Retrieved on: 12/03/2023]

Dss.gov.au, (2016), Homelessness: Department of social science in Australia, Retrieved from: https://www.dss.gov.au/housing-support/programmes-services/homelessness#:~:text=The%20aim%20of%20the%20program,and%20domestic%20violence%20to%20live, [Retrieved on: 12/03/2023]

Gov.uk, (2016), Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities, UK, Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homelessness-code-of-guidance-for-local-authorities/overview-of-the-homelessness-legislation, [Retrieved on: 12/03/2023]

Humanrights.gov.au, (2018), Human rights of Australia, Retrieved from: Hhttps://humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/letstalkaboutrights/downloads/HRA_homeless.pdf, [Retrieved on: 12/03/2023]

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