Budget falls short in housing affordability
Leading Victorian Not for Profit VMCH welcomes certainty of funding for the NDIS.
However the need to revolutionise Palliative Care and make Affordable Housing a priority has been less encouraging.
VMCH CEO Sonya Smart is pleased the budget allows for improvements across the board in Aged Care.
“This budget recognises the importance of choice and quality supports people need as they get older. We now need to focus on improving the system so people know where to go and what to do to find the support they need.”
The same can be said as the Government commits financially to the NDIS creating certainty around funding. Sonya says the same commitment to fixing the system now needs to be a priority.
“There seems to be two extremes we’re experiencing at present. Those who are absolutely benefiting from the NDIS which is great news. But the instances of people unable to access basic supports and overwhelmed by the system, seem to be far greater at the moment”.
The issues range from inconsistencies in advice from planners to a lack of understanding individual assessment of need.
“Families with children needing transport to school for example are told they simply are not eligible with different advice from different planners.”
VMCH believe the productivity commission’s recommendation that End-Of-Life care should be a core focus for residential aged care, was a missed opportunity in this budget.
While the budget has injected funding to Primary Health Networks, a need for further funding to develop skills for the Aged Care workforce is needed.
“Palliative Care supports in the community are essential but any person working in this space especially residential care should be well trained in supporting people to die well. This takes a complex holistic approach to ensuring people have a good death and this is not recognised in the current assessment tools for funding in fact it is designed to not make funding readily available for this complex care.”
While overall the budget is a step in the right direction, Affordable Housing missed out as a much needed revolution in thinking is needed to meet the needs of people struggling to keep a roof over their head.
“We currently support 380 people through Affordable Housing and our goal is to expand and grow in this area. The safety and certainty of Affordable Housing is a much needed resource especially for older women and we’ll continue to find ways to advocate for better outcomes.”