Australia’s disability shame: why do we treat these people like second class citizens?

New details have emerged showing just how hard some of Australia’s most vulnerable people are living. A report on the
Health

New details have emerged showing just how hard some of Australia’s most vulnerable people are living.

A report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has revealed at least 45,000 people with disabilities are living in poor housing conditions, raging from nursing homes, to living with aging parents, and in some cases homelessness.

One of the key aims of the NDIS is to provide recipients with housing and independent living. However, the report shows the majority of people on the scheme are not receiving housing support, while 110,000 people – around 40 per cent – are missing out completely on the help they so desperately need.

These people are left to cope with their disability in less than ideal conditions that would not be tolerated in many other developed nations.

There are around 4 million people with a disability in Australia and many of them rely on benefits like the NDIS to help fund their basic lifestyle needs.

The benefits scheme is one many Australian taxpayers are happy to get behind as it helps some of our most vulnerable citizens. That’s why the revelations about the scheme’s poor housing standards were met with shock and anger by people around the country.

Speaking about the housing issue, Chairman of the Disability Housing Futures Working Group and the former boss of Housing NSW Mike Allen said the situation was “unacceptable”.

“We think there’s a gap in the vicinity of around 45,000 people,” he told the ABC.

Mr Allen said around 5,000 people with disabilities are living on the streets, while others are struggling in group homes and private rentals that don’t have the facilities they need.

“They’re in housing stress and they’re struggling in unacceptable housing situations,” Mr Allen said.

The revelations have left many people asking why more isn’t being done to address the issue. In a list detailing the top 10 countries to live if you have a disability, Australia failed to make the cut. Even the United State, which is known for its poor health system, made it onto the list.

So why aren’t we doing more to combat this issue and ensure disabled Australians are given the support they need? While many people acknowledge there is an issue, some are hesitant to call for more taxpayer funding to deal with the issue.

Instead, they say it is a government issue that should be handled through the budget rather than taking more money from other Australians.

What’s your opinion on this issue?

Is it the governments responsibility to resolve this issue? Where you surprised so many disabled people are living rough?

  1. Dianne Evans  

    It need fixing ! For disabled and able bodied Australians who are no longer able too afford rents !

  2. I am not surprised. We have friends with an intellectually disabled son and we have seen the fight they had to get him set up in an independent living situation. He has a lot of family support and that is crucial. These people need relatives that will fight for them and not give up. Unfortunately some families for one reason or another abandon their disabled relatives and then the state has to step in and be their guardian. I feel that the current budget is probably enough but that it is being wasted on inefficiencies and bureaucracy with minimal amounts getting through to the frontline where the money is needed.

  3. I am not surprised. We have friends with an intellectually disabled son and we have seen the fight they had to get him set up in an independent living situation. He has a lot of family support and that is crucial. These people need relatives that will fight for them and not give up. Unfortunately some families for one reason or another abandon their disabled relatives and then the state has to step in and be their guardian. I feel that the current budget is probably enough but that it is being wasted on inefficiencies and bureaucracy with minimal amounts getting through to the frontline where the money is needed.

    • I work for a NFP that provides as part of it’s varied services, accommodation for disabled persons. We are expected to do our own fundraising to supplement what the Government supplies – and then people wonder why I get really browned off with some of the comments I see on-line about charities and fundraising. So many people who don’t know the half of it!

  4. That is utterly disgusting we are getting more a n d more 3rd world perhaps other countries can start supporting us

  5. That is utterly disgusting we are getting more a n d more 3rd world perhaps other countries can start supporting us

  6. The disabled are the most vulnerable of all Australians and they are treated shamefully in this country. Time after time we see them maligned and targeted by this Government. Instead of targeting them it is time they got out there and helped. States are selling public housing so there the little accommodation and it is not enough to go around. Disabled people should NOT ever be on the streets exposed to crime and the elements, they are sick enough already

  7. The disabled are the most vulnerable of all Australians and they are treated shamefully in this country. Time after time we see them maligned and targeted by this Government. Instead of targeting them it is time they got out there and helped. States are selling public housing so there the little accommodation and it is not enough to go around. Disabled people should NOT ever be on the streets exposed to crime and the elements, they are sick enough already

  8. Look at the money this Government is wasting on a lot of useless things that help no one and that is not even mentioning the rorting by the Government. The money should be invested into Public housing so no one is on the streets especially the disabled. I think that is embarrassing for us as a country

  9. Look at the money this Government is wasting on a lot of useless things that help no one and that is not even mentioning the rorting by the Government. The money should be invested into Public housing so no one is on the streets especially the disabled. I think that is embarrassing for us as a country

  10. “So why aren’t we doing more to combat this issue and ensure disabled Australians are given the support they need?”
    The answers is, I believe, that our current government sees people with disabilities as ‘leaners’ and so would prefer their numbers to be drastically reduced. Their lack of assistance is one way of achieving this.

    • Aileen, I was a community nurse during the Gillard/Rudd years, things were no better than! I have seen some of the disabled living in terrible conditions. So don’t make this just a Liberal problem. Anybody can announce an unfunded scheme knowing you won’t have to implement it, like Julia Gillard did!

    • I do not recall the Labor government making the distinction between ‘lifters’ and ‘leaners’. And Gillard was at least willing to start addressing the problem.

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