A new AHURI report investigates the issues affecting older Australians who are experiencing or facing homelessness.
The research, An effective homelessness services system for older Australians identified three broad groups of older Australians who become homeless: those with conventional housing histories who experience a financial or other ‘shock’ late in life, such as eviction from rental housing, the death of a spouse, or a decline in their health; those who had experienced long-term social exclusion and had previously experienced homelessness; and people with transient work and housing histories.
One of the findings was a recommendation to expand the Assistance with Care and Housing program (ACH) as a simple first step to better support this vulnerable group.
Create new beginnings for women and children with a Festive Season donation! A message from WPI
When Marie, her six month old son, Josh, and 14 year old daughter, Holly, escaped her extremely violent ex-partner, they went into hiding. They were terrified that he would find out where they were, as he had threatened her life on many occasions. The police had given her a phone number to call so she could raise the alarm and get help quickly. He fought Marie for access to their son Josh, who was just a baby. Throughout the court process she was terrified. During this time, she was also moving from place to place, trying to keep her location a secret and care for her traumatised children. Marie desperately needed a safe and secure place to start again and rebuild her life.
After two years of running, Marie found refuge in a Women’s Property Initiatives home. She has lived there for eight years and it is a safe haven that she can rely on. It was eventually determined that it was simply too dangerous for her ex-partner to have any contact with Marie or the children, but to this day she has to hide from her abuser. The courts and police have supported her in her efforts to keep her location a secret, but still she worries that he will find them. Added security measures at her home give her some peace of mind.
Although she carries the physical and emotional scars of that relationship, she has built a new life for herself and Josh and Holly. Josh has autism and she has found him a supportive and inclusive school. Marie has studied to be a classroom integration aid, which has helped her understand more about what he goes through. She works at Josh’s school, helping him and lots of other children. She has created a stable and loving home and he is thriving. So is Holly, who is now an adult and works as a call center manager for an energy provider. In a secure home, Holly was able to complete her education and move on from the trauma.
This is the difference a stable home makes. It provided this family with a new beginning and they grabbed it with both hands. They are living productive lives and contributing to their community.
“My home is my safe place, my sanctuary. Because it is secure, we’ve been able to heal and try to be normal. It has been critical in creating a routine for Josh. He is doing well at school. I love being part of that and giving back by helping other kids like him. When you’ve been through what we have, you never take a safe home for granted. We are the lucky ones,” said Marie.
We provide homes for more than 230 women and children. They have been able to enjoy many happy celebrations in the homes they love. This festive season, make a tax deductible donation that will create new beginnings for women like Marie; women who deserve the safe and permanent homes that lots of us take for granted.
Ground has been broken on a project to deliver an eight-unit development in Melbourne’s east designed to support older women at risk of homelessness.
Community Housing Ltd (CHL), Uniting Vic.Tas together with other partners Mountview Uniting Church, Oak Building Group and the Department of Housing and Human Services (DHHS) have celebrated turning-the-sod on the project in Mitcham.
The homes will be located close to public transport and schools to ensure tenants maintain their links to local services and the community.
‘We are pleased to be partnering in this significant project which will provide safe, secure accommodation for older women in housing need. We will bring in our expertise of careful and sensitive design utilising 25 years of experience in designing accommodation for people in highest housing need,’ says Steve Bevington, CHL’s Managing Director.
The Hon. Bronwyn Pike, CEO-designate of Uniting Vic.Tas, says the facility will support women facing homelessness to take control of their lives and transition into sustainable, safe, long-term housing.
‘The numbers of women over 55 years of age requiring homelessness support are underestimated and under-reported,’ Ms Pike says. ‘Mountview House will be a step toward helping address the need for older women’s crisis accommodation in Melbourne’s East.’
The Mountview House facility is nearly two decades in the making. The Victorian Government is contributing more than $2.3 million to the facility’s development as part of its Accommodation for the Homelessness Phase 2 initiative.
Approximately 5.3 per cent of Australian veterans who left the Australian Defence Force (ADF) between 2001 and 2018 experienced homelessness, AHURI research has revealed.
This rate of 5.3 per cent, which equates to 5,767 veterans, is significantly higher than that for the general population (1.9%), and although these rates are not directly comparable, this finding strongly suggests that veterans are over-represented in the Australian homeless population. It is also much higher than the estimate of around 3,000 homeless veterans previously assumed by government agencies such as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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
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.
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.
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.’
CHIA Victoria, and CHIA Vic, is the trading name of the Community Housing Federation of Victoria (CHFV).
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
CHIA Vic acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.