Welcome to the North & West Homelessness Network


The North & West Homelessness Networks (NWHNs) are networks of Homelessness Assistance funded services operating in Melbourne's North & West metropolitan divisions. For more information, view the About NWHN page of the site.

As well as offering general information on homelessness assistance, this website facilitates communication between NWHN members, providing them with a range of relevant news and resources.

Homelessness Assistance Funded Services

The North & West Metropolitan homelessness service system (HSS) is made up of over 200 programs that are funded to provide assistance to people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness. Five of these services are funded through the Transitional Housing Management (THM). The remaining programs are funded as Specialist Homelessness Services to assist people to prevent or end the experience of homelessness.

Opening Doors

Access to Homelessness Assistance funded agency resources in the region have been streamlined with the introduction of the Opening Doors Framework launched in July 2008, and going 'live' in the region on 14 December 2009.

Opening Doors is also commonly referred to as Access Points, which is first point of contact if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

For more information about Opening Doors and regional models of access, please visit the North and West Local Area Service Networks section of this website.


Supportive housing is cheaper than chronic homelessness
It costs the state government more to keep a person chronically homeless than it costs to provide permanent supportive housing to end homelessness,  recent research shows.

Over a 12-month period, people who were chronically homeless used state government funded services that cost approximately A$48,217 each. Over another 12-month period in which they were tenants of permanent supportive housing, the same people used state government services that cost approximately A$35,117.

The significance of this cost difference is remarkable. Yes, people use A$13,100 less in government-funded services when securely housed compared to the services they used when they were chronically homeless. But, on top of that, the annual average of A$35,117 in services used by supportive housing tenants includes the A$14,329 cost of providing the housing and support.

When we provide permanent supportive housing, not only do we realise whole of government cost offsets, but the way people live their lives changes demonstrably.

The data show that when people are tenants of supportive housing, their low level criminal behaviour and reliance on crisis health and temporary accommodation services that characterised their lives while homeless reduces. For example, sustaining housing, compared to being homeless for a year, was associated with a 52 per cent reduction in criminal offending, a 54 per cent reduction in being a victim of crime, and 40 per cent reduced time spent in police custody. Their use of short term crisis accommodation reduced by 99 per cent; mental health service used declined by 65 per cent.

When people have access to housing that is safe and affordable, they no longer have to live as patients, criminals, inmates, clients, and homeless people.

Click here for the full article. More

New National Housing and Homelessness Agreement and recurrent NPAH funding
The Federal Government has created a new National Housing & Homelessness Agreement, bringing together the former National Affordable Housing Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH). 

The NPAH component, that has been rolling over annually for four years will now be funded ongoingly and with indexation.

It is likely that the new Agreement will bring with it significant outcome measures linked to the funding.

For now anyway the homelessness sector can breathe a sigh of relief with some security of funding. However, the new Agreement does not bring with it the much needed growth funds to assist us to respond to the increasing numbers of people presenting to our services who are experiencing homelessness.  

Attached is the summary budget paper outining the new Agreement.  More

More news


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