Unhappy #WorldHomelessDay

Countdown to World Homelessness Day

This World Homelessness Day, on Thursday, October 10, homelessness workers from around Victoria will be smashing myths that  put the blame on individuals instead of on the systemic drivers of homelessness by revealing #HomelessTruths

​Homelessness is at crisis level in Victoria due to a lack of affordable housing

​The Victorian Government must build more social housing so that people on low incomes aren’t forced into homelessness.

Your organisation can assist by sharing information found at vhn.org.au

The rest we forget

An article in the Daily Telegraph reports that almost 6000 veterans are homeless every 12 months at a rate nearly three times higher than the national average.

A three-year study by the Australian Housing and Urban Infrastructure (AHURI) for the Department of Veterans Affairs showed the highest recorded rate of homelessness in the Veterans community.

Click here to read the full article or read the AHURI report.

AHURI conference wrap up

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Conference has wrapped up, delivering a wealth of evidence and information on what we in Australia can do to end homelessness.

If you missed out on attending the conference in Darwin, you can still click here for the wrap up and to download presentations from the conference.

Social housing need 310% higher than thought

If every household in Australia who met the eligibility criteria for social housing decided to apply, waiting lists across the country would increase by more than 310 per cent, according to a discussion paper released by Compass Housing Services.

The paper, Estimating Current and Future Demand for Housing Assistance, used housed income date to estimate the number of households in Australia who meet current eligibility requirements in their state or territory and looked into the likely impact of the expected wave of automation and digital disruption on wages.

It found while there were currently more than 144,000 households on the social housing waiting list, income and asset data suggested an additional 452,000 households were also eligible to apply for housing.

Report author Martin Kennedy said the findings were “deeply concerning” and could cause future headaches for governments already handling a backlog of housing applications.’

Click here to download the report.

Launch partner in library program to assist homeless

In an Australian first, Launch Housing is partnering with the City of Melbourne to provide a social worker to be based in the city’s libraries who will provide support to those experiencing homelessness. Libraries often provide a welcoming space for people experiencing housing issues and other complex issues.

Launch Housing Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Naylor says, ‘Having a Launch Housing social worker based at libraries across Melbourne will ensure that people experiencing homelessness or with complex needs have the same right to the community’s resources as everybody else.

‘The social worker will also support library staff to understand the issues faced by disadvantaged people in our community.’

Based at the City Library, the Library Social Worker will also support staff across the City of Melbourne’s six libraries – providing training, support, and debriefing.

Read more…

Spending money on housing a must

Great Inside Story by Peter Mares on the National Housing Conference, that ends with this key comment:

‘Even if we don’t invest in social housing, though, we are going to spend a lot more public money on housing anyway. We’re just going to spend it in different, less effective ways: on more rent assistance, more welfare payments, more homelessness services, more visits to emergency departments, more Medicare claims, more police and ambulance call-outs, and more people going through the courts and being put in jail. And tax revenue will be lost as a result of lower employment and declining productivity.’

Read the full article here.

Energy efficient homes to replace rundown estates

More vulnerable Victorians will be able to access social housing with the Victorian Government’s announcement that redevelopment is to begin of a rundown housing estate in West Brunswick. Community housing organisation Women’s Housing Limited will manage the completed redevelopment, which will increase social housing numbers by 45 per cent.

Women’s Housing CEO Judy Line says, ‘We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and developer AV Jennings to bring this project to life, and we are delighted to be part of this exciting housing development.

‘The old rundown walk-ups at Gronn Place will be replaced by new energy efficient homes that will not only be better to live in but be more affordable for our tenants.

‘We are looking forward to taking a leading long-term role in the overall management of the precinct, to ensure that this project further enriches the neighbourhood as well as delivering much needed long-term housing for vulnerable women,’ Judy says.

The 82 vacant units currently on the site will be demolished to make way for 111 new public housing properties, and Women’s Housing will purchase an additional eight homes from the developer, greatly increasing the number available to those eligible for social housing. The redevelopment will also include 79 private homes, which will help fund the project and create more diverse communities.

Public housing tenants who have been provided with alternative accommodation in the lead up to the redevelopment will be given the option to move back to the site once it is complete, with Women’s Housing to be responsible for the management of rental agreements and maintenance. Tenant’s rights will continue to be protected via the Residential Tenancies Act.

As a registered Victorian Housing Association, Women’s Housing Ltd has extensive experience in managing a diverse range of social housing across Melbourne and has an excellent reputation for property and place management.

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA Vic) CEO Lesley Dredge says the redevelopment is welcome with Victoria holding the unenviable record of having the smallest proportion of social housing in Australia. Currently 50,145 households are on Victoria’s social housing waitlist.

The Gronn Place development is part of the Victorian Government’s $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program that plans to develop up to 2,500 public housing dwellings and increase the number of social housing properties by at least 10 per cent across metropolitan and regional sites.

#HW2019

Call for action on rooming houses

The Southern Homelessness Services Network (SHSN) has called on the State Government to fund the development of a standardised accommodation ratings system for private rooming house providers

The call follows the SHSN’s Rooming House Summit which aimed to tackle the issue of privately run, expensive, sub-standard, exploitative rooming houses.

There are approximately 500 registered rooming houses in the Southern region with an unknown number of unregistered rooming houses.
Dr Heather Holst – Victorian Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, and former CHIA Vic board member, was keynote speaker at the summit.

Click here to download the report.