'Dead wrong' ... Mr Rudd has been urged to follow through on homelessness
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is under pressure to make good on his promise to help the plight of the nation's homeless.
Mr Rudd put homelessness on the national agenda in January, announcing he was forming a committee to improve crisis services and help people get long-term housing.
He also told MPs to learn more about the plight of the homeless by spending a night in an emergency shelter.
"It is dead wrong that in a country as wealthy as ours that on any given night some 14,000 people are sleeping rough," he said at the time.
But Deb Tsorbaris from the coalition Australians for Ending Homelessness says the situation has deteriorated over the past year, and the global financial crisis is already biting the Australian community hard.
"We already know that in one of the last sets of data, the data that is collected from our services, that nearly 3,000 people had had mortgages before they appeared at our services," she said.
"That was at least a year ago, so we would expect those numbers to double or triple. Now that's frightening."
The coalition is in Canberra with a five-point plan to reduce homelessness and holds out hope that action can begin before the end of the year.
"Kevin Rudd has distinguished himself as the only prime minister, in my memory anyway, who has singled out homelessness as an issue that he wants to tackle," she said.
"We have had the white paper delayed. COAG is in a week and at that time there will be discussions between the states and the Commonwealth about huge amounts of money, in excess of $33 billion, and we are keen to make sure that a chunk of that goes to the area of homelessness."
The group's plan includes a proposal to build an additional 250,000 low-cost and community houses by 2020.
Federal Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek says she expects the issue will be raised at next Saturday's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.
"I think we are at, obviously, a very difficult time because of the global financial crisis, but the Government's early and decisive action with its $10.4 billion economic security strategy, I think, has certainly given a lot of people comfort and security and our actions on homelessness have been critical," she said.
"But we have got to ask ourselves, not just how the economic circumstances are affecting the number of homeless people, but how successful we are as a community and as governments working together to turn around some of these numbers."
Ms Plibersek says the Prime Minister's commitment to dealing with homelessness "has been full and unwavering".
Greens push for affordable homes The NSW Greens have introduced a bill into the Legislative Council that would allow councils to require up to 25 per cent of new multi-unit housing developments to be set aside for affordable housing.
Housing crisis forcing people to sleep rough A Wesley Mission study found 71 per cent of respondents identified the housing crisis as the major reason for them becoming homeless. Of those, 88 per cent said accumulated debt and unexpected financial crisis were factors. Funding fall 'locks workers out of housing' People who cannot afford to rent or buy suitable homes have been locked out of public housing because of a drastic fall in national funding, a Sydney conference has heard.
Renters must pay for their own evictions SYDNEY renters have plenty to gripe about. Not only are their rents soaring but they are also funding the legal machinery used by landlords to evict them. NSW feels the deepest jobs cut MORE than 17,000 NSW workers left or lost their jobs last month in the worst labour market reading in years, fuelling fears the state will suffer the brunt of the coming economic slowdown. Welfare services under strain: survey The number of people accessing community services is on the rise, a new survey shows.
When pain persists, they arrive People are still angry when they lose their houses, but he notices that "people nowadays seem to think, when they take a loan, that it's a risk and that if they take the loan they might end up losing their house".
'No warning' about Beechwood collapse The New South Wales Government says it had no warning one of the state's largest building companies was about to collapse, despite receiving more than 100 complaints over three years.
Fee too much for Block project THE Aboriginal Housing Company has accused the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, of "trying to crucify" an ambitious housing plan for the Block in Redfern after his department refused to waive a $60,000 development application processing fee for the project.