• Tristan Angelini

Duty to Assist Law and What it is Meant to Do for Homeless Australians



A couple of weeks ago, we have talked a bit about the different programs to potentially help the homelessness problem in Australia. Homelessness is a problem that happens in so many countries worldwide. It should be taken seriously because a lot of people are affected by the lack of opportunities that could solve their current circumstances.


One of the solutions mentioned is the duty to assist law where it is said to force governments to take action. So, what exactly is it and what does it mean for homeless Australians? Let’s find out.


What is Duty to Assist Law?

According to reports, the number of homeless Australians, also known as rough sleepers is increasing in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The duty to assist law will require Australians to extend help to those who are in dire need of it. The law is going to require local authorities to find safe accommodation for rough sleepers. The law is patterned after Wales, where this law was first legislated.


The local authorities there are required to follow a three-step process such as follows:

- Offer resources to help those that are at risk of being homeless.

- Help homeless individuals find accommodation or at least provide solutions for them;

- If the first two steps do not work, they are required to secure accommodation for individuals in priority need.


However, these individuals should each also do their part by complying to the guidelines established by local authorities. Before the law was created, reports stated that rough sleepers were constantly told there was no available accommodation for them. The law is seen as an effective way for authorities to take action in Australia.


The law is being backed up by several advocates saying that it’s important to prevent this problem from getting out of hand. Studies show that right now, about 116,000 Australians are living in the streets or no permanent place to stay. The number blew up these past five years and it is time that something must be done on a bigger scale. Sadly, according to ABC News, “homelessness Australia found federal government investment in social housing and homelessness had been falling in real terms.”


Homelessness advocates are calling for the Federal Government to invest in social housing—and they should engage with the state and local governments so the appropriate homelessness plans will be made and potentially will be met. It is very unfortunate to see people not extending a helping hand to those suffering. This law should be looked at.

Xotel is determined to make partner with the authorities to help those with housing needs. For affordable shared accommodation, check out our projects and contact us now.

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