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Anglicare Australia backs Productivity Commission’s calls for stable housing and a strong safety net

Oct 31, 2019, 12:36 PM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia has supported the Productivity Commission’s call for stable housing and a strong safety net to support mental health. This follows the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on mental health.

“We’re pleased that the Commission has taken a broader view of mental health. The role governments play in mental wellbeing is much more than providing mental health services. They shape our physical, working and social lives, which has a major impact on our wellbeing,” said Anglicare Australia Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson.

“For more than twenty years, people have been telling governments that a safe and secure home is key to their mental health – and their hope of living in recovery. 

“But as anyone on a low income will tell you, waiting lists for public and social housing are out of control. Governments at every level have failed to plan for housing and how it plays into mental health.

“Now the Productivity Commission has made it clear: People with mental illness need stable housing. And right now, our system is falling short,” Mr Manderson said.

Mr Manderson welcomed other aspects of the Productivity Commission’s report, including its call for better psychosocial services and a strong safety net.

“This report has found that housing, psychosocial support, and income support are all crucial to mental wellbeing. And it has called for everyone to have access to these, regardless of their income or which part of Australia they live in.

“But it’s also shown how many of the systems that are meant to help people – the NDIS, the Jobactive Network, and government payments like the Disability Support Pension and Newstart – are failing them and making their lives worse. These findings should jolt us into action.

“We must answer the Commission’s call to support people with mental health issues and make sure our safety net works for them. We look forward to working with the Commission and with our colleagues across Australia – including so many people with lived experience – to turn that goal into a roadmap for action,” Mr Manderson said.