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If you would like to have a document added, please email it to the Western Homelessness Networker:  sarah@wombat.org.au

The power of data in Aboriginal hands
12th March 2013
  by Peter Yu, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)

This paper explores the critical role that data can play in development scenarios when Aboriginal people are in control of collecting, managing and interpreting data. It was first presented as a pleniary paper at the conference Social Science Perspectives on the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, held at The ANU on 11–12 April 2011.

At the time of writing, Peter Yu was Chief Executive Officer, Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd, Broome and a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Download here (2052kb)
The Suburbs We Need: Establishing a National Urban Investment Fund
4th March 2013
  by The National Growth Areas Alliance

Australia’s cities rank highly on global ‘liveability’ league tables. But how ‘liveable’ are 24 of the fastest-growing municipalities where more than three million Australians now reside? Over the next 20 years the population of these municipalities will grow at twice the national average bringing greater demands for infrastructure, public transport, health, education, and recreational services.


A major survey of residents in growth areas identified concerns in infrastructure planning and a lack public transport options and recreational facilities for young people. Residents want more health services and employment opportunities delivered closer to home. Securing a sustainable investment base for infrastructure in areas with fast-growing populations should be a major priority for the Federal Government.

The role of local government in addressing homelessness: a literature review
4th March 2013
  by Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP)

Reviewing the worldwide literature on homelessness and local government, this report finds that relatively little has been written on this topic in Australia and this almost certainly reflects the relatively minor role local government plays in mitigating the impacts of homelessness.

Intergenerational homelessness and the use of homelessness services
4th March 2013
  by AHURI

The research examined the prevalence of intergenerational homelessness in Australia and found that almost half of those currently receiving homelessness assistance had parents who themselves experienced homelessness. Prevention and early intervention programs, especially those oriented to Indigenous people are critical in breaking the cycle of intergenerational homelessness.

Download here (1245kb)
Children in care report card
28th February 2013
  by Anglicare Victoria

Children entering care have not had the same chance as other children to grow and thrive. Parental maltreatment and other disadvantages mean that their life outcomes are often poor compared to children generally.

Anglicare Victoria’s Children in Care Report Card shows the ‘gap’ between children in care and all children. Information on 142 children in care was collected from case records and compared to population data.

The results for physical activity, obesity and healthy lifestyle were positive. However, a much higher proportion of children in care had emotional and behavioural problems and chronic health conditions compared to children who were not in care.

Education participation rates of children in care were similar to children in the community. However, children in care were less engaged in education and less likely to be reaching their learning potential. Older teenagers in care also had limited independent living skills and lacked access to important identity documents.

Too many children in care were disconnected from birth fathers and peers. Children in care also had fewer opportunities than children who were not in care to participate in activities that would help them build community networks.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help bridge the gap between the life outcomes of children in care and those same outcomes among children who are not in care. Results from the Children in Care Report Card show us where we need to act.

The Role of the Philanthropic Sector in Addressing Homelessness
28th February 2013
  by Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning

This paper is the first output of a project entitled Beyond charity: the engagement of the philanthropic and homelessness sectors in Australia. The report has two purposes. First, it outlines the focus of, and rationale for, this empirical research investigating the engagement of the philanthropic and homelessness sectors in Australia. Second, it presents the results of a targeted literature review scoping the form and extent of philanthropic and homelessness sector engagement, also paying specific attention to the structures that support active philanthropic engagement with homelessness, including taxation incentives and disincentives.

Download here (1179kb)
Crossroad ICMI Breakfast Seminar_26.2.13
26th February 2013
  by ICMI

Flyer for February seminar for Crossroads Intensive Case Management Initiative (ICMI)'s ‘A High and Complex Breakfast’ seminars and workshops series. This seminar will focus on Injecting Drug Use, with Marcelle & James (Manager & Worker) from the Northern Mobile Needle Exchange/Foot Patrol providing information on current drug use and its impact.

How would proposed reforms in the Henry Tax Review affect housing affordability?
25th February 2013
  by AHURI

Modelling shows that proposed reforms in the Henry Tax Review can improve housing affordability by reducing private rents and entry costs for property purchasers. 

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p80647/

Housing First: Where is the evidence? 2012 (Canada)
25th February 2013
  by Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff and John Rook

In the last ten years a radical transformation has occurred in the attitudes and practices guiding housing programs that provide emergency and long-term housing for homeless people.

The latter approach has been labelled housing first (HF) and has rapidly acquired widespread adoption by communities with 10-year plans to end homelessness in Canada and the U.S and by mental health service providers seeking housing stability for clients.

This search uncovered three founding programs that can be considered housing first models. Because of their differences, the review begins with a brief description of each model and then examines the evidence base for housing first as reported in the academic literature.

Download here (1104kb)
Reducing the alcohol and drug toll: Victoria's plan 2013-2017
14th February 2013
  by Victorian Government

On 25 January the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Mary Wooldridge MP, launched the whole of government alcohol and drug strategy - Reducing the alcohol and drug toll: Victoria's plan 2013-2017.

Reducing the alcohol and drug toll sets out a 15-point plan that provides a comprehensive response to the three major drug types, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs and illegal drugs. It also includes some key new investments, including:

  • $2.6 million to a long term program to challenge Victoria’s culture around drinking, reduce harms from alcohol misuse and instil personal responsibility around alcohol use; and
  • a four year $12.5 million program for Emergency Departments across Victoria to support clinicians dealing with alcohol and drug related hospital admissions and emergency department presentations.

Link to document: http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/1D4BF7FF3C551C4DCA257AFD00707A93/$FILE/Reducing-AOD-toll.pdf

Outcomes of the Inner City Youth At-Risk Project: July 2010 – June 2012.
13th February 2013
  by Christine Eastman and Kylie Valentine, SPRC

The ICYAR Project is part of the National Partnership on Homelessness NSW Implementation Plan and the NSW Homelessness Action Plan 2009-2014 and builds upon the successful Kings Cross Youth at Risk Project.

The Vancouver At Home Study: Overview and methods of a Housing First trial
13th February 2013
  by Denise M Zabkiewicz, Michelle Patterson, James Frankish and Julian M Somers

Given high rates of mental illness among homeless individuals and the inadequacy of services, there is a growing need for effective approaches that integrate housing with intensive treatment and supports.

Obtaining a better understanding of how supported housing and services influence the health and well-being of homeless individuals is critical for the development of long-term, community-based solutions, and effective health and social policy.

In an effort to address these issues, Canada’s federal government allocated $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to conduct a national demonstration project to identify the best housing and support services for individuals who are homeless and living with mental illness.

This project, entitled “At Home/Chez Soi”, is being conducted in 5 sites across Canada including: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The FOR-HOME study: Moves to independent living Single homeless people’s experiences and outcomes
13th February 2013
  by Maureen Crane, Tony Warnes and Sarah Coward - The University of Sheffield

This report describes the main findings of the FOR-HOME study of the resettlement of 400 single homeless people from hostels and other temporary accommodation into independent tenancies in London, Leeds, Nottinghamshire and Sheffield.

The aims were to collect information over 18-months about the experiences of homeless people who are rehoused and the factors that influence the outcomes; and to produce policy and practice recommendations.

Respondent characteristics

There were 296 men and 104 women in the study. They were interviewed before they moved; after 6-months; and again at 15-18 months. One-quarter were under the age of 25 years, 38% aged 25-39 years, and 37% aged 40+ years. Three-fifths were White British / Irish.
The respondents’ histories were characterised by high rates of personal problems and disadvantage. Thirty-nine per cent had left school before 16 years of age, 18% had literacy problems, and 22% had been in care as a child. In the five years before being resettled, 63% had experienced mental health problems, 33% alcohol problems, and 57% drug problems.
One-quarter had been homeless for more than five years when resettled.

Download here (1070kb)
Social Housing Initiative Review
13th February 2013
  by KPMG

The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, has released a report on the Social Housing Initiative Review. The report, provided by KPMG, found it is well-administered, value for money and has achieved excellent outcomes for vulnerable Australians, the social housing sector, the construction industry, and the wider economy.

Download here (1791kb)
The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy. (USA)
13th February 2013
  by University of Pennsylvania

Homelessness in its contemporary form has been an issue since the early 1980s when, cast against a backdrop of a recession, the U.S. public became aware of a “new” homeless population comprised mainly of young and minority adults.

An unprecedented number of these persons were homeless with families, but even those who were homeless individually were distinctly different demographically from their aging, mainly white “skid row” forbears (Baxter & Hopper, 1981; Lee, 1980). Three decades later, despite the volumes of research on homelessness, little of it has assessed how the characteristics of this population have changed over time.

In this study, it is hypothesize that contemporary homelessness is a birth cohort phenomenon linked to the coming of age of the baby boom generation—an inquiry that is overdue given the length of time that contemporary homelessness has been an issue.

Link to document: http://www.homelesshub.ca/Resource/Frame.aspx?url=http%3a%2f%2fworks.bepress.com%2fcgi%2fviewcontent.cgi%3farticle%3d1147%26context%3ddennis_culhane&id=55455&title=The+Age+Structure+of+Contemporary+Ho

Meeting Australia's Housing Challenges: National Shelter policy platform
7th February 2013
  by National Shelter

‘Meeting housing challenges’, National Shelter have identified a range of solutions to tackle the four key housing challenges facing low-income Australians.

FACT SHEET: Social and community services pay equity implementation
4th February 2013
  by The Victorian Government

The purpose of this document is to provide you with:

  • an overview of the equal remuneration decision handed down by Fair Work Australia
  • information about how your funding supplementation was calculated
  • details about what to do if you have any questions.

Addressing homelessness amongst persons with a disability: Identifying and enacting best practice.
4th February 2013
  by The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide, Hanover, Melbourne Citymission and the University of Melbourne have released research showing that people with a disability have a greater exposure to the risk of homelessness than the general population.

The research also found that people with different disabilities are exposed to different levels of homelessness risk and receive different types of housing support. The study highlights a number of policy and practice development considerations for responding to homelessness amongst people with a disability.

Download here (1008kb)
Homelesness Australia poster
4th February 2013
  by Homelessness Australia

Following the release of the 2011 ABS Census estimates and data from the AIHW SHS 2011-12, Homelessness Australia has created an infographic on homelessness in Australia.

Print out a copy and put it in your waiting area, put it on your website and take it to your meetings for easy reference.

PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT ON GOVERNMENT SERVICES 2013
1st February 2013
  by Australian Government

The Productivity Commission’s report on Government Services 2013, is now available. Refer to Chapter 17 for Homelessness and 16 for Housing services.

Link to document: http://www.pc.gov.au/gsp/rogs/2013

What influences the outcomes of affordable housing projects?
31st January 2013
  by AHURI

The main challenge facing affordable housing developers in the not-for-profit sector is the management of trade-offs between social outcomes, environmental sustainability and financial viability. This study examined how affordable housing projects are planned, designed, financed and managed over the long-term.

VCOSS Ideas Paper on service sector reform in Victoria - December 2012
31st January 2013
  by VCOSS

Changing the way we work for the better of all Victorians

This Ideas Paper has been developed by the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) to shape discussions within government and across community sector organisations on how we can work together more effectively to support better outcomes for those who we work with.

The paper points to the broad issues, concerns and outcomes we believe should be addressed through the Victorian Government’s Service Sector Reform Project.

Link to document: http://vcoss.org.au/documents/2013/01/VCOSS_Ideas_Paper_-_Service_sector_reform_Final_Dec-2012.pdf

Disability & Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative (DFVCRI) Guidelines
14th January 2013

The purpose of the Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative guidelines is to support both the family violence sector and the disability sector to work collaboratively to improve outcomes for women (or children) with a disability experiencing family violence. Both the family violence sector and disability services have a responsibility in supporting women (or children) with a disability experiencing family violence. The guidelines have been developed by disability services in partnership with family violence sector representatives and Women with Disabilities Victoria.

Joint submissions to the Coroner by Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic and Tenants Union of Victoria
24th December 2012
  by Public Interest Law Clearing House Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic and the Tenants Union of Victoria

Coroner White is currently investigating the tragic death of three Indian students who died on 3 January 2008 in a house fire in Footscray. In a joint submission, the HPLC and TUV called on the Coroner to make recommendations that could prevent similar tragedies taking place in future.

No. 196: Home and safe?
19th December 2012
  by Angela Spinney - AHURI

Policy and practice innovations to prevent women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence from becoming homeless.

This report sets out the findings of a research project investigating the opportunities and challenges of preventing women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence from becoming homeless.

This is the second and Final Report from AHURI Research Project 50602– Homelessness prevention for women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence: innovations in policy and practice. The aim is to explore the value and implementation challenges of innovative staying at home homelessness prevention measures, such as Staying Home Leaving Violence schemes in Australia and Sanctuary Schemes in England.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50602

Specialist Homelessness Services 2011-12
18th December 2012
  by AIHW

In 2011-12, specialist homelessness services assisted almost 230,000 clients, representing 1 in 98 Australians. Of these clients, 56% were at risk of homelessness, 44% were already homeless and 11% were sleeping without shelter or in improvised or inadequate shelter when they first began receiving support. Agencies provided more than 7,000,000 nights of accommodation in 2011-12 and assisted 84% of clients at risk of homelessness to sustain their tenancy. This report presents the findings of the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection for 2011-12, and describes the clients of specialist homelessness agencies, the assistance they sought and were provided, and outcomes achieved for clients.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542549

Making it Home: Refugee Housing in Melbourne’s West. 2012
18th December 2012
  by Laura Berta, Footscray Community Legal Centre

This report presents findings from Footscray Community Legal Centre’s (“FCLC”) Refugee Tenancy and Housing Project (“the Project”). The Project was developed in response to the need for tenancy advocacy services in Melbourne’s western suburbs and in recognition of the major barrier that housing difficulties pose to successful refugee settlement. The Project encompassed the following:

  • A legal tenancy clinic providing free advice and representation to people of refugee background living in the western suburbs of Melbourne
  • Community legal education, and
  • Community development initiatives.

These three activities form core aspects of the work of Community Legal Centres. FCLC tailored the services delivered through the Project to the needs of refugee communities in order to systematically observe and document the major legal and non-legal issues facing refugees in the housing market.

Link to document: http://www.footscrayclc.org.au/images/stories/Tenancy_Report.pdf

Disability & Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative (DFVCRI) Information Sheet
14th December 2012

The Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative is a 12 month statewide pilot project that aims to assist women with a disability experiencing family violence.1 Women and their childrenmay require immediate disability support to access a family violence crisis accommodation response while exploring longer term housing and support options or require immediate disability support to remain safe in their own home. Short-term funds can be provided for up to 12 weeks to a maximum of $9,000 per person while the woman works with her Family Violence Worker to develop a longer termplan.

Good practice - working together to support children and young people experiencing family violence
13th December 2012
  by Victorian Government - Department of Human Services

A key feature of the policy reforms for both the Victorian child and family services sector and the family violence sector has been the establishment of multi-service approaches that work together to more effectively meet the needs of children and young people.

This publication draws together a collection of case studies that highlight how practitioners from child protection, Child FIRST, Integrated family services and family violence services can effectively work together to improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing family violence.

Link to document: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/reports-publications/good-practice-working-together-to-support-children-and-young-people-experiencing-family-violence

Council debt collection: alternatives to suing ratepayers in hardship
6th December 2012
  by Footscray Community Legal Centre

This report argues that Victorian local councils are rushing unfairly to legal action to recover unpaid rates, despite legal protections guaranteeing rates revenue, the existence of effective alternative payment strategies, and the severe impact of legal action on disadvantaged ratepayers.

Link to document: http://apo.org.au/research/council-debt-collection-alternatives-suing-ratepayers-hardship

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