If you would like to have a document added, please email it to the Western Homelessness Networker:

Rental Report September Quarter 2011
31st December 2011
  by Department of Human Services, Victorian Government, Australia

The Rental Report provides key statistics on the private rental market in Victoria. The major source for the statistics presented in the Rental Report is the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority which collects data on all rental bonds lodged under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (VIC). The report provides the September quarter overview; current rents; rental availability; and rental market affordability.

Download here (1662kb)
Homelessness: A Silent Killer
30th December 2011
  by Crisis

A research briefing on mortality amongst homeless people which draws on and sets out the interim findings of a study investigating homeless mortality in England.

Key points:

  • The average age of death of a homeless person is 47 years old and even lower for homeless women at just 43, compared to 77 for the general
  • Drug and alcohol abuse are particularly common causes of death amongst the homeless population, accounting for just over a third of all deaths.
  • Homeless people are over 9 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population
  • Deaths as a result of traffic accidents are 3 times as likely, infections twice as likely and falls over 3 times as likely.
  • Being homeless is incredibly difficult both physically and mentally and has
    significant impacts on people’s health and well being. Ultimately, homelessness kills.

Making Space for Learning - A guide for supporting traumatised children and young people at school
15th December 2011
  by Australian Childhood Foundation

The Australian Childhood Foundation has developed a free resource guide for responding to the needs of traumatised children in the school environment. Making Space for Learning uses the knowledge base about the neurobiology of trauma and relationship disruption to help unlock traumatised children and young people's potential to grow and develop at school. It has a range of very clear and simple-to-adapt strategies for supporting individual students and resourcing class rooms and schools.

Link to document:

Heartfelt - A collection of children's experiences and stories of abuse, recovery and hope
15th December 2011
  by Australian Childhood Foundation

The Heart Felt collection is a unique window into how the trauma of abuse affects and shapes the lives of children. Children's drawings reflect childhood as they experience it. Children draw pictures of people, events in their lives and ideas that hold some significance for them. Children's drawings give adults a glimpse into their world and how they experience the people in it. They provide the opportunity to understand the meaning that children attach to events and people in their lives. It is wonderful and powerful resource to use in training and community awareness initiatives.

Link to document:

People turned away from government funded specialist homelessness accommodation 2010-11
15th December 2011
  by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

This report presents data on the people turned away from government-funded specialist homelessness accommodation in 2010-11. It is the final report to be sourced from the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) National Data Collection (NDC). From 1 July 2011, data will be reported from the new Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection. The data collected indicate that government-funded specialist homelessness agencies are operating to capacity and are unable to completely meet the demand for accommodation. Some groups, such as families, experience more difficulty than others in obtaining accommodation.

Link to document:

Housing assistance, social inclusion and people with a disability
12th December 2011
  by AHURI

This project sought to understand how housing assistance affects social inclusion for persons with a disability and involved 98 face-to-face interviews with persons with a disability in NSW, SA and Vic; focus groups with service providers; and interviews with social housing providers.

The research found that housing assistance has a very substantial impact on the social inclusion of persons with a disability in Australia. Housing assistance:

  • Provides stability in the lives of persons living with a disability who would otherwise be vulnerable to a range of negative circumstances and who may otherwise have no sense of control over their lives.
  • Improves resilience and independence by helping people with a disability deal with crises in their lives in relation to health, family relationships, monetary concerns etc.
  • Reduces exposure to very high housing costs and the risk of eviction–thereby reducing vulnerability to homelessness.
  • Improves employability in paid employment which has social inclusion benefits both for the individual and broader society.
  • Provides opportunities for being heard so that people with disabilities find a voice within their community, which in turn enables engagement with wider social institutions.

Link to document:

Government-funded specialist homelessness services: SAAP National Data Collection 2010-2011
9th December 2011
  by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

This report presents the 2010-11 data on the use of government-funded specialist homelessness services. It is the final annual report to be sourced from the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) National Data Collection (NDC). From 1 July 2011, data on the people using specialist homelessness services will be reported from the new Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection. In 2010-11, an estimated 230,500 people (equivalent to 1 in 97 Australians) used specialist homelessness services. Young people, families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continued to be significant users of services. The most common reasons why people sought support were interpersonal relationship issues (such as domestic or family violence); accommodation-related issues (such as being evicted); and financial issues (such as having insufficient money to pay for accommodation, food, bills or other essentials.

Link to document:

Youth mentoring
30th November 2011
  by AHURI

This research synthesis provides a rigorous analysis of the key elements of effective youth mentoring programs. The report considers national and international evidence on the value for investment and identifies evidence regarding the social and economic benefits for youth of quality one-to-one relationship based mentoring. The report was commissioned by the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance, the Office for Youth and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, and prepared by AHURI's Research Synthesis Service.

Link to document:

Understanding the patterns, characteristics and trends in the housing sector labour force in Aust.
1st November 2011
  by Tony Dalton, Prem Chhetri, Jonathan Corcoran, Lucy Groenhart and Ralph Horne

AHURI Positioning Paper: No. 142 Understanding the patterns, characteristics and trends in the housing sector labour force in Australia aims to better understand the housing sector labour market and will answer the question: What are the principle constraints faced by the housing sector labour force in meeting the challenge of increasing housing supply? This research focuses on the supply of housing and in particular on the contribution that workers in the residential housing sector make to the supply of housing.

Link to document:

At home and in place? The role of housing in social inclusion
31st October 2011
  by Kath Hulse, Keith Jacobs, Kathy Arthurson and Angela Spinney

AHURI Final Report: No. 177, At home and in place? The role of housing in social inclusion, explored ways in which housing processes can affect social disadvantage and social inclusion. Drawing on case studies in Australia and the UK, it considered the extent to which housing and related policies and programs can be effective in promoting inclusion and reducing disadvantage.

Link to document:

Housing & Hardship in the ER sector: CIVic agencies’ response - Snapshot 2011
19th October 2011
  by Community Information Victoria (CIVic)

Community Information Victoria (CIVic) is the peak body for the community information and support sector. Member agencies are increasingly concerned about negative impacts on individual and family well being as a result of the pressures associated with the rising costs of housing. We conducted a snapshot survey of housing assistance provided by our members in the course of ER service delivery. The findings that form the basis for this snapshot came from responses of 18 CIVic member agencies that participated in an electronic survey conducted by CIVic in May 2011. Agencies’ response to the increasing demand for their services involve greater collaboration with other service providers and flexible application of ER funds to ensure that vulnerable individuals and families at risk of homelessness are provided with some measure of reprieve in the short term. The longer term impact of the cost of housing on vulnerable groups and the agencies that service them will require a shift in public and policy thinking about the housing crisis in Victoria.

The Residual Income Method: a New Lens on Housing Affordability and Market Behaviour
17th October 2011
  by AHURI - Terry Burke, Michael Stone and Liss Ralston

This study was designed to explore the viability of an alternative method of measuring affordability (the residual income method) to that of the ubiquitous 30 per cent benchmark method and to use this alternative method for enriching understanding around a range of affordability and housing market issues. The work has been exploratory but it does reveal both the potential and the limitations of the method. This Final Report was preceded by a Positioning Paper (Stone et al. 2011) which reviews the national and international literature on measuring housing affordability and outlines the methodology and assumptions behind the residual income method.

Link to document:

NWHN October 2011 Forum - Safe at Home Program Presentation
13th October 2011
  by Jacky Tucker - Manager, Family Violence Services - Women's Health West

Based at Women's Health West, this program delivers an integrated response for people experiencing family violence with the aim of providing early intervention to assist women and children to stay safe in their home. Project partners include police, family violence services and other support services and the program includes access to brokerage to assist in making the property safer e.g. lock changes, security lights and doors etc. Also having access to interim accommodation ensures that women and children are safe at the time of the highest risk. 

NWHN October 2011 Forum - Strengthening Risk Management Project Presentation
13th October 2011
  by Melissa O'Hallaran - Project Co-ordinator, Berry Street Victoria

Based at Berry Street Victoria, this demonstration project aims to strengthen risk management practice for women & children who are most vulnerable to continuing and potentially lethal family violence. It also aims to deliver an effective, multi agency risk assessment and case management approach to improve safety for women and children in the City of Hume and increase accountability of men who use violence.

NWHN October 2011 Forum - McAuley Mercy Care Kids Program
13th October 2011
  by Jessica Little and Kirsty Manning- McAuley Community Services for Women - Mercy Care Program

The Mercy Care Program acquired funds from FaCHSIA to run ‘Mercy Kids’ Project. The project has two components; to build on the partnership with the Royal Childrens' Hospital (RCH) to enhance the services awareness and responses to children experiencing Family Violence; as well as develop 80 ‘Prac Packs’ to provide resources for young people experiencing Family Violence.

Download here (1769kb)
NWHN Family Violence Regional Forum Workshop Feedback
13th October 2011
  by NWHN Coordinators

Workshop feedback from participants responding to the following questions:
1. What were the most interesting aspects about the programs you have heard about today?
2. How do you think these programs might impact on your daily work with families?
3. What are your recommendations for good collaborative practice in the context of family violence? When it works well what are the elements?
4. Given there is so much going on in both the family violence and homelessness sector, how do you keep up to date with what's happening?
5. Are there areas or issues that you would like to further explore / know more about?

10th October 2011
  by Victorian Government

The new Victorian Homelessness Action Plan 2011 - 2015 was released on 5 October 2011. In summary, the Victorian Homelessness Action Plan 2011‑2015 is focused on:

  • supporting innovative approaches to homelessness
  • investigating models that focus specifically on early intervention and prevention
  • better targeting of resources when and where they are most needed and where they will make the biggest difference.

Download here (1599kb)
National Social Housing Survey : a Summary of National Results
7th October 2011
  by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The majority of National Social Housing Survey respondents were either `satisfied' or `very satisfied' with living in either public housing or community housing. In addition, most respondents indicated that the amenity and location of their housing met the needs of their household. These respondents also recorded experiencing `benefits' from living in social housing–around 90% felt more settled and over two-thirds felt they enjoyed better health. These findings are particularly noteworthy given that social housing is typically targeted at groups such as low income earners, those who were previously homeless and people who are otherwise disadvantaged in the housing market.

Download here (1297kb)
6th October 2011
  by Dr Tony Gilmour, Elton Consulting

This paper details the key issues with performance management, giving guidance to community housing managers and directors on best practice. It outlines difficulties with performance measurement techniques when applied to not-for-profit organisations, and shows some of the ways the data can be used by both housing providers and external stakeholders.

Link to document:

5th October 2011
  by Australians for Affordable Housing

The cost of housing is the single biggest cost of living issue in Australia today. Compared to other expenditure items, housing costs comprise the biggest share of household budgets – accounting for 18 per cent of household spending on average.

While the average is 18 per cent, over 720,000 low to middle income households pay more than 30 per cent of their income on housing – what we call ‘housing stress’, and more than 460,000 households spend more than half their income on housing costs.

Download here (1064kb)
Homeless Persons Legal Clinic (HPLC) Fact Sheet - new regulation of tenancy "blacklists"
3rd October 2011
  by HPLC

HPLC explain that "Part 10A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) commenced on 1 September 2011 – it contains relatively strict limitations around what information can be put on a tenancy blacklist, by whom, how and for how long.

These reforms will be important for homeless Victorians, many of whom will have blacklist entries that make it almost impossible for them to enter the private rental market through a real estate agent. Many of these entries will be now unlawful under the new regulations.

Where clients think they might have an entry on a tenancy database and hope to enter private rental, we are encouraging workers to consider contacting real estate agents, informing them of the new obligations and requesting that entries are reviewed and, if appropriate, removed."

North and West Homelessness Network (NWHN) Homeless Census 2011 Feedback Report
29th September 2011
  by Jodi Mohr and Alex Jarvis

This document provides feedback from surveys and consultations with Special Collectors, People In Charge and Homelessness and allied services on their experiences and reflections on the 2011 Homelessness Census Strategy in the NWMR. It also includes feedback from the NW Special Area Supervisors on their experiences in their role. It suggests a range of recommendations on ways to improve future Census counts in order to more effectively and accurately develop homelessness estimates using Census data.

Download here (4310kb)
Victorian Homelessness Networks Submission: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless 2006
30th June 2011
  by Zoë Probyn & Jodi Mohr on behalf of the Victorian Regional Homelessness Networks

The Victorian Regional Homelessness Networks were established in 1996. They operate across Victoria in every Department of Human Services (DHS) region and are funded by Housing & Community Building – DHS to bring services together to share information, and identify common needs and gaps in homelessness service provision. Count Us In! is the title for this Submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless 2006.

Positioning Paper: No. 139: The residual income approach to housing affordability: the theory and th
27th June 2011
  by Michael Stone, Terry Burke and Liss Ralston for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

This Positioning Paper seeks to provide a greater understanding of the residual income approach to measuring housing affordability. Part A provides an overview, using existing literature, of the various semantic, substantive and definitional issues around the notion of affordability, leading to an argument in support of the soundness of the residual income approach. Part B is methodological; it shows for various household types and income ranges, both for home purchase and rental, how the residual income method can be operationalised and its potential policy applications.

Link to document:

CHP Submission: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless, 2006
20th June 2011
  by CHP

The Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) is the peak body representing individuals and organisations with an interest or stake in homelessness in Victoria. Our mission is to work toward ending homelessness through leadership in policy, advocacy and sector development.

CHP hosted a Sector Consultation in Melbourne on 6 June 2011 to seek feedback on the key tenets of the Review. The event was attended by 110 people, which included people who have experienced homelessness, researchers, services providers, federal bureaucrats and peek body representatives from across Victoria. The feedback from the Consultation informed CHP’s recommendations and this feedback is peppered throughout the Submission.

ABS Methodological Review: Submission guide for services
16th June 2011
  by CHP

CHP have developed a Sample ABS Methodological Review: Submission guide for services to help organisations draft their own submissions.

15th June 2011
  by AIHW

Housing assistance in Australia 2011 is a compendium style publication which provides readers with information about housing assistance in each segment of the housing sector: government, not-for-profit and the private sector. Key issues including allocation and waiting lists for social housing, overcrowding, and affordability are examined as well as changes over recent years. Housing assistance provided to special needs groups such as Indigenous Australians, the young and old, and to those with a disability are also examined.

Link to document:

PILCH's HPLC Submission to the Inquiry into the Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities
6th June 2011
  by James Farrell and Lucy Adams - PILCH Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic

Charting the Right Course - This submission contains 20 detailed case studies of clients for whom the Charter has been used to negotiate and advocate. This work has prevented 42 people being evicted from social housing into homelessness. Forty-two HPLC clients and their family members, including 21 children, have avoided homelessness (and the personal, social and economic consequences that come with it); and the State has avoided adding 42 people to an already overstretched emergency accommodation system. This exemplifies the way in which the Charter has been used to bring about just, fair and efficient outcomes since its commencement.

Improving Housing Options for Young People: Practical Ideas
23rd May 2011
  by Rachel Terry

Young people are increasingly squeezed out of the housing market and face a more drawn-out process of moving towards independent living. Affordable housing in the private and social rented sectors is in short supply and buying a home is out of the reach of many young people. A number of initiatives aim to improve this situation.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) produced this paper as part of its Young People and Housing programme, which aims to improve the housing options available to young people aged from 16 to 30 across the UK.

This paper:

  • presents 27 practical examples drawn from the housing sector which seek to improve housing outcomes for young people;
  • focuses on detailed work in Northamptonshire, but draws on case studies from across the UK; and
  • shares ideas for possible replication.

Link to document:

Specialist Homelessness Services Information Session – Victorian Specific Frequently Asked Questions
17th May 2011
  by Department of Human Services - Victoria

A number of Victorian Specific questions were put to the presenters at the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection Information session on 12 April 2011. Some questions will be covered in more detail through the Specialist Homelessness Services Content training sessions.

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