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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

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: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50597

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?

NEW VICTORIAN HOMELESSNESS ACTION PLAN 2011 - 2015
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)
RAISING THE BENCHMARK: BEST PRACTICE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT FOR COMMUNITY HOUSING
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: http://www.kineticis.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/WhitePaper_RaisingTheBenchmark_Sept2011.pdf

AUSTRALIA’S BROKEN HOUSING SYSTEM
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.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE IN AUSTRALIA 2011
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: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737419155&tab=2

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: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/improving-housing-outcomes-young-people

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.

How High Can We Go - Homeless Children's Education
16th May 2011
  by North West Regional Children’s Resource Program

During November and December of 2010 the North West Regional Children’s Resource Program surveyed 40 children who accompany parents through Merri Outreach Support Service’s case management programs. The surveys focused on the children’s educational experiences and the impact homelessness has on school attendance, academic achievement and connections to school and recreational opportunities.

Link to document: http://www.homelesskidscount.org/How%20High%20Can%20We%20Go%20%20%20%20Education%20Data%20Report%20-%20Final%20Copy.pdf

Housing & Homelessness Services: Access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
13th May 2011
  by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The rate of homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is four times that of non-Indigenous Australians. Homeless Indigenous Australians were almost twice as likely to sleep rough, or in improvised dwellings and shelters, than non-Indigenous Australians.


The rate of home ownership for Indigenous households was about a third compared to two-thirds for non-Indigenous households. Indigenous households were ten times more likely to be living in overcrowded conditions compared to non-Indigenous households.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737419006

Housing and income inequalities in the city
29th April 2011
  by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

This study shows that over the period 1986–2006, the income distribution in Melbourne polarised: the numbers of low and high income households increased while those with middle incomes fell. At the same time, the gap in median house prices between Melbourne’s highest and lowest cost Statistical Subdivisions more than doubled, which considerably restricted the potential residential location choices of Melbourne’s low income households. The net result is that this income inequality has become mapped onto the city, creating neighbourhoods of extreme advantage and disadvantage.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50382

‘Shacking up’: Australian Housing Workers Perceptions of Women’s Pathways Out of Homelessness
10th April 2011
  by Jennifer Hill

This thesis examines housing workers perceptions of relationships entered into by women to escape their experiences of homelessness. This project uses interviews with five housing workers as a method of exploring where the social and welfare sector places these women in the current cultural definitions of homelessness. The thesis argues that women who form these relationships should be identified as being principally homeless due to the unstable nature of the secured accommodation. It aims to make a contribution to the understanding of the complex and hidden nature of women’s homelessness by suggesting that women who enter into relationships in order to put a roof over their head have in no way acquired a successful exit point in their homelessness and that further funding is required to fund women’s based services.

Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless 2006 - Homelessness Australia Sector Briefing
8th April 2011
  by Homelessness Australia

The ABS claims to have adjusted the 2006 Census figures for each of the homelessness categories after conducting a series of cross-tabulations of Census night data which the Discussion Paper claims excludes large numbers of people when other information provided is taken into account. A summary of the reasons provided by the ABS for removing large numbers of people from each category is provided in the Discussion Paper and re-produced and critiqued in this Sector Briefing from Homelessness Australia.

Finding Help for Someone with a Mental Health Problem
4th April 2011
  by Chris McGrath

An initiative of Carers Victoria Respite Connections Mental Health Program (March 2011), this resource has been developed for workers in the community care system, and focuses largely on the public mental health system. It provides information about a range of services offering different types of specialised support to families and individuals impacted by mental illness. It gives active links to the information sites of the major mental health services in Victoria. It also provides information and links to organisations which offer a range of general health, personal and social supports. Although not mental health specific, these additional supports may be useful to someone living with a mental health problem.

ABS Discussion Paper: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless, 2006
31st March 2011
  by AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

This Discussion Paper outlines the findings of the Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless 2006. In this review the ABS has revised the Census night point in time count downwards to approximately 65,000 people. The ABS welcomes feedback from any readers of the Discussion paper. The ABS will also hold discussion forums in each state and territory capital city to seek feedback, and will advertise these sessions on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au). This consultation will be used to inform the final methodology for the ABS producing estimates of homelessness from 2001 onwards. The ABS will publish the final methodology, along with revised estimates of the homeless population for 2001 and 2006 by 31 July 2011.

Download here (2500kb)
NWHN March 2011 Forum - Creating Connections Private Rental Brokerage Program presentation
31st March 2011

Delivered by Youth Support Services VincentCare Victoria, this presentation provides details of the Creating Connectoins Private Rental Brokerage Program operating in the NWMR. This new initiative funded under the Youth Homelessness Action Plan 2 (Action 5), aims to improve homeless young peoples access to private rental accommodation. This pilot program is funded until end of June 2011.

NWHN March Forum 2011 - Private Rental Access Program Melton presentation
31st March 2011

This Council funded program aims to act as an early intervention model, to prevent “at risk” people entering the homelessness system. This is by providing immediate assistance to those who are able to maintain private rental, to access and/or retain private rental as a long-term housing option.

Download here (1377kb)
NWMR March 2011 Forum - HomeGround Housing Options Team presentation
31st March 2011

HomeGround's Housing Options Team provides a range of services to assist people to access private rental. The Team acquires head and direct lease properties on the private market; facilitates access to Social Housing; develops and maintains relationships with serviced apartments and other accommodation providers; as well as ongoing liaison with the DHS Leasing Program.

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