The Federal Government has announced a $320 million agreement with the states and territories which will ensure the continued provision of vital homelessness services.

The Federal Government originally provided $159 million earlier in March, conditional on the states and territories agreeing to match the Federal funding, which was confirmed at last week’s COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness.

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Mark Butler said the agreement ensures that services currently provided under the current National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness continue.

“Service providers now have the certainty they need about next year’s funding enabling them to continue providing critical support to some of the most vulnerable Australians,” Mr Butler said.

Mr Butler said the one-year transitional agreement for 2013–14 is an important first step as the Government continues to work with the states and territories towards an integrated and holistic response to homelessness beyond 2014.

The Commonwealth has also committed additional support for capital projects that help people move out of homelessness into safe and sustainable housing.

“A $76 million development fund will now be available to provide new accommodation arrangements and states and territories will now be invited to bid for a portion of the fund as part of a competitive process.”