Homelessness pandemic support extended

The Victorian Government has announced support for homeless Victorians will be extended during the pandemic and beyond.

A Victorian Government media release states:

‘At the start of this pandemic, we acted swiftly to support over 2000 Victorians off the streets and into accommodation in vacant hotels – because you can’t “stay home” if you don’t have one and you can’t “stay safe” if you have nowhere to wash your hands.

Now, the Victorian Government will help these same Victorians out of homelessness and into their very own homes with the new $150 million From Homelessness to a Home package.

This funding will also see the Government extend current hotel accommodation until at least April next year while these 2,000 Victorians are supported to access stable, long term housing.

We will lease arrange to lease 1,100 properties from the private rental market, providing a permanent home for people once they leave emergency accommodation. This investment will give Victorians a roof over their head in the short-term, while also providing long-term support to help them find their home – and the security, stability and sense of belonging that goes with it.

The first of the Government’s promised 1000 new social housing units are also coming online now and will also support people to transition out of homelessness and into a home.

Each client will have access to flexible support packages to ensure they are getting the tailored help they need while in crisis hotel accommodation – including mental health, drug and alcohol and family violence support for those who need it. That same support will be available to help sustain a tenancy once they move to other long-term housing.

The Private Rental Assistance Program will also gain extra funding to encourage more people leaving emergency hotel accommodation to set up their own private tenancy, helping with the bond and initial rent.

This investment is an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness – affording more Victorians the security and stability of a home, while also boosting the private rental market.

Funding will be allocated to homelessness agencies in both metropolitan and regional areas – enabling them to deliver a tailored and more responsive service based on the needs of individuals.

The investment builds on nearly $25 million in emergency housing, isolation and coronavirus recovery facilities for people experiencing homelessness, and almost $500 million to upgrade and build new community and public housing across the state.’