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5th November 2018     TENANCY LEGISLATION SURVEY
by Tenants Victoria

Now that the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 has passed both houses, it’s time to develop the regulations and other information that goes with the Act. This will be completed by a public consultation process dictated by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Make Renting Fair has developed a survey to help us better understand some of the top priorities of both renters and landlord in relation to these regulations. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, and will ask people to rank a series of potential options for each question in order of their personal priorities. After the survey closes on Friday, 7 December, we will draw one lucky person to win their choice of a $150 gift card to Coles, Bunnings or BP.

We’re hoping to get as many responses from renters and landlords in Victoria as possible.

Here’s the link:

https://singuser3e00d598.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1Fc8LRZjj5Te1JH

more

5th November 2018     SWINBURNE CALLING FOR FRONTLINE HOMELESSNESS WORKERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A SURVEY
by Swinburne University, reported in The Conversation

Dear Frontline Professional,
Swinburne University invites you to participate in a research study to explore knowledge of brain injury among frontline professionals who work with individuals experiencing homelessness across Australia. This may include housing workers, case manager and counsellors, among others.

You are eligible if you:

  • Work directly with people experiencing homelessness.
  • Are 18 years or older.
  • Are fluent in English.

Participation in this study will involve completing a 15- to 20-minute anonymous survey. Upon completion of the survey, you may enter into a draw to win one of five $100 gift cards. Find out more about our study by clicking on the following link:
Frontline Service Provider Survey

By participating, you will be contributing to the development of resources on this topic, which will be made available after the study. We sincerely appreciate your help. If you have any questions about this study, please contact our research team at htbi@swin.edu.au. more

5th November 2018     SAVER PLUS
by The Smith Family

Saver Plus, delivered locally by The Smith Family, is Australia’s largest and longest running matched savings and financial education program. The program assists individuals and families earning lower incomes to build assets and improve their financial capability. Saver plus has developed a lasting savings habit in thousands of households throughout Australia. Participants of the program could receive up to $500 in matched savings to help pay for education costs.

Enquiries: Please direct all enquiries to John Davis, Saver Plus on 9312 0932 or john.davis@thesmithfamily.com.au more

5th November 2018     IDEAS OF HOME AND OWNERSHIP IN AUSTRALIA MIGHT EXPLAIN THE NEGLECT OF RENTERS’ RIGHTS
by Bronwyn Bate in The Conversation

The “Great Australian Dream” is based on the belief that hard work will eventually lead to home ownership. Yet owning a home is becoming impossible for many people, irrespective of how hard they work.

If we understand home to be a basic right, then we will have policies that reflect this. If we understand home to be a privilege, reserved only for those who manage to achieve home ownership, then we will forever live in a country where tenure security and a feeling of being “home” are reserved for those who are able to buy a house. Consequently, our policies will continue to support the idea that, ultimately, a rental property cannot be “home” to a tenant.

The question then remains: do we consider home a right or a privilege? This issue is at the very heart of Australia’s housing crisis. Until we change our meaning of home by separating it from ownership, we will never be able to “fix” Australia’s housing crisis.

See the full article in The Conversation. more

5th November 2018     TO MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE THIS IS WHAT STATE GOVERNMENTS NEED TO DO
by John Daley, Brendan Coates and Tony Chen in The Conversation

Home ownership rates are declining across Australia, especially among the young and the poor. An increasing proportion of low-income earners are in rental stress in all states except Queensland and Tasmania.

Australia’s population is growing rapidly. Our cities have not kept up, so there is less housing per person. The primary obstacle appears to be planning rules that delay or prevent development.All states except Tasmania have less housing per person than a decade ago.

What should Governments do?

  • enable more homes to be built in inner and middle-ring suburbs of our largest cities
  • reform tenancy rules
  • boost the public housing supply.

Australians need to face up to a harsh truth: either people accept greater density in their suburb, or their children will not be able to buy a home.

Click here to see the full article. more

5th November 2018     NEW HOMELESSNESS FACT SHEETS
by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP)

What are the leading causes of homelessness in Australia?
How much has homelessness among over 55's grown in a decade?
What's the most common type of homelessness?


CHP has updated homelessness fact sheets available, incorporating the latest data from the 2016 Census and the AIHW SHS Collection. 

Get them here:
Homelessness in Australia
Homelessness in Victoria
Homelessness and Older Australians 

more

5th November 2018     STAYINN COBURG: INSIDE MELBOURNE'S WORST REVIEWED HOTEL
by Rohan Smith in news.com.au

RUBBISH piles up inside rooms at a motel in Melbourne’s north and visitors rarely open their doors. When they do, they reluctantly hand over rent.

The reviews are devastatingly honest.

“This place is junky city … never staying in this flea invested (sic) sh*t box they call a motel,” reviewer Kyle Windebank wrote.

“Terrible place. Police there every day. Other residents all druggies. Would not stay again,” Richard Williams wrote.

“If you would like to visit the worst hotel on the planet, here you are,” Michael Johnson wrote.

This is the StayInn Motel in Coburg, 11km north of the Melbourne CBD. In July last year, it was the site of a shooting when an argument over money spiralled out of control. A new documentary from the team at VICE saw filmmakers spend four months at the motel exploring the reasons behind the negative reviews and the characters who call it “home” — in the truest sense of the word.

Though the StayInn still functions as a commercial motel, it also functions as crisis accommodation, offering rooms to those who need it most.

To watch the documentary, click hereThe Stay Inn will also air on SBS VICELAND later in November. To read the full article click here. more

5th November 2018     PREPARING FOR THE CHILD AND FAMILY VIOLENCE INFORMATION SHARING SCHEMES
by Victorian Government

The Victorian Government is progressing three inter-related reforms that will be integral to keeping families and children safe:

• Child Information Sharing Scheme
• Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
• Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM).

From 27 September 2018, community services organisations are required to implement one or more of these reforms. This checklist will help organisational leaders prepare for the Information Sharing Schemes.

See the attached checklist to assist agencies to prepare for the Schemes. The following resources are available on the website www.infosharing.vic.gov.au

  • Introduction to Info Sharing Schemes
  • Record keeping tips
  • Organisational readiness chart
  • Tips for conversations with clients

more

11th October 2018     SHADOW FEDERAL MINISTER FOR HOUSING PROMOTES INCLUSIONARY ZONING
by Western Homelessness Networker

Senator the Hon Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Housing, outlined yesterday Labor's housing policy for the forthcoming Federal election. Senator Cameron was speaking at a consulation on women, housing and homelessness, organised by Ged Kearney MP, Member for Cooper. 

Senator Cameron strongly endorsed the mandating of inclusionary zoning in new private developments, citing inclusionary zoning rates as high as 50% in London.  Senator Cameron also identified that the Labor Government will be focussing on the creation of housing options for older women and for young people leaving care. 

He also promoted an end to negative gearing and capital gains tax, a uniform vacancy tax, improved planning arrangements, support for the bond aggregator, with the additional of payments to address the gap between the development of community housing and the rent that someone in receipt of Centrelink payments can pay. 

Senator Cameron also identified that, if elected, the Labor Government would re-establish the Housing Supply Council and a National homelessness peak body.  more

11th October 2018     TAP TURNERS AND GAME CHANGES
by Transforming Housing, School of Design, University of Melbourne

Transforming Housing hosted a forum on 9th October on Tap turners and game changers:Lessons for Melbourne from affordable housing systems in Vancouver, Portland and Toronto.

Click here to watch presentations from:

  • Professor Carolyn Whitzman discusses a bold plan for 164,000 new affordable homes in Melbourne over 10 years.
  • Dr Matt Palm presents research on the capacity for ‘lazy’ government land to significantly increase affordable housing outcomes.
  • Dr Katrina Raynor discusses the capacity for an innovative affordable homeownership model to support transitions out of public housing.
more

11th October 2018     FAMILY VIOLENCE AND CHILD INFORMATION SHARING SCHEMES AND MARAM TRAINING
by Council to Homeless Persons

he Victorian Government is progressing three inter-related reforms that will be integral to promoting the wellbeing and safety of children and reducing family violence - the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (MARAM).

A wide range of organisations and services were prescribed under all three reforms on 27 September 2018. This includes homelessness organisations and services.

Family Safety Victoria and the Department of Education and Training are delivering two-day, multi-disciplinary, face-to-face focused training on the family violence and child information sharing schemes with an introduction to MARAM across the state.

In addition to the face-to-face option, the training package will be available in modular form via e-learn and self-directed audio visual modes. There will also be a module customised to the needs of specific.

Training sessions are running between October and mid December. Information about the training and schedule can be found here:

https://www.vic.gov.au/infosharing/training-for-information-sharing-schemes-and-maram.html
more

11th October 2018     CHEAPER, FAIRER PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR VULNERABLE VICTORIANS
by Victorian Government

The Andrews Labor Government is making it cheaper and easier for vulnerable Victorians to catch public transport, with new emergency relief tickets to be trialled for 12 months, commencing immediately.

Many vulnerable Victorians are being given fines they can’t pay and becoming unnecessarily caught up in the legal system.

The current Day Pass was not meeting the needs of disadvantaged people – particularly those experiencing complex issues that need more appointments, and more time to attend them.

Like the Day Pass, the new Weekly and Monthly Travel Passes will be valid in zones 1 and 2 and on regional town buses, and will be available for approved community organisations to buy and distribute to their clients.

The passes will also be available to schools to help them support students at risk of disengaging from education.

The Day, Weekly and Monthly Travel Passes are heavily discounted to make them more affordable to the organisations supporting vulnerable Victorians.

Schools and community organisations can apply for travel passes by emailing ticketingservices@ptv.vic.gov.au more

11th October 2018     BEYOND 18 LONGITUDINAL REPORT ON YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE
by Beyond 18

Beyond 18 Wave 1 report now available!

If you want to read about the first wave of Beyond 18 surveys, you can find the report here.

This first research report uses data from the first wave of surveys to focus on young people's preparations for transition from out-of-home care.

more

11th October 2018     PORTABLE LONG SERVICE LEAVE... AT LAST
by ASU and Western Homelessness Networker

Congratulations to the Australian Services Union for successfully getting portable long service leave in the community sector through Parliament. The 15 year ASU campaign culminated in the LONG SERVICE BENEFITS PORTABILITY BILL 2018 being passed in Victorian Parliament.

Click 'more' for further infomration about the scheme.

You can join the ASU through the following link: https://www.asu.asn.au/asujoin more

11th October 2018     CAREINMIND WELLBEING SUPPORT SERVICE
by CAREinMIND

CAREinMIND™ Wellbeing Support Service is a free phone and online counselling support service.

CAREinMIND™ Wellbeing Support Service is for anyone of any age who is feeling the pressures and stresses of everyday life.

  • It is for people who live, work or study in northern, western and central Melbourne.
  • The service is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Call 1300 096 269 to speak to a counsellor.

If you need more intense support click here to find more programs, in this region, available with a referral from your GP or visit the More Services page. more

11th October 2018     SPECIALIST HOMELESSNESS SERVICES TRAINING
by Wodonga TAFE

Attached is the Semester 2 Specialist Homelessness Services training calendar.  Additional courses are often added after the calendar's release. Information about additional courses can be found at: 

Wodonga TAFE - https://www.wodongatafe.edu.au/shs

Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/wodonga-institute-of-tafe-2440708194

more

11th October 2018     SENATE MOTION TO DEVELOP A NATIONAL HOMELESSNESS PLAN PASSES
by Pro bono

Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi moved a motion in the Senate last Thursday to develop a national homelessness plan, with the motion passed despite opposition from the Coalition and Katter’s Australian Party.

Faruqi said they had “called out” the government’s lack of commitment to a national scheme to end homelessness, which is supported by homelessness advocacy groups.

“The homelessness services sector has been crying out for national leadership on this issue and it is really disappointing that the Coalition government continue to shirk their responsibilities and have voted against this motion,” Faruqi said.

“People are sleeping rough with no roof over their head and no bed to sleep in. We need urgent action at all levels of government.”

You can read the full article at: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/09/greens-push-government-homelessness-targets/?utm_source=Pro+Bono+Australia+-+email+updates&utm_campaign=7b9354ff0c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_18_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ee68172fb-7b9354ff0c-147126969&mc_cid=7b9354ff0c&mc_eid=c8b7408184 more

11th October 2018     LEAVING CARE SUPPORT EXTENDED TO 21 FOR MANY YOUNG PEOPLE
by Victorian Government and Western Homelessness Networker

Huge congratulations to all who participated in The Home Stretch Campaign to increase the leaving care age to 21.

The Andrews Labor Government has now extended supports for young people leaving care up to the age of 21.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced $11.6 million over five years to roll out Home Stretch starting in the first half of 2019, which will give young people the option of remaining with their carer until the age of 21.

The program will arm young people with the tools they need to live on their own two feet, as well as extending care allowance support to foster and kinship carers.

In addition, specialised workers will provide tailored support to young people, helping them to get jobs and access education, as well training and life coaching to help young people set goals and aspirations for their future.

Carers will also be eligible to be reimbursed for the costs of caring for the young person. Young people leaving residential care will be eligible for support with housing costs.

This investment means 250 more young care leavers will receive these supports as a matter of course. more

11th October 2018     RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES AMENDMENT BILL PASSES
by Western Homelessness Networker

Victorian Parliament has passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, improving the legislative rights of Victorian tenants. 

Reforms outlined in the Amendment Bill will be implemented in a staged way over the next few years. The major reforms are:

  • No-Reason notices to vacate will be gone  
  • A suite of protections for victim-survivors of family violence  
  • A “reasonableness test” for all evictions - Stronger protections against eviction for late payment
  • Minimum standards for rental properties
  • Centrepay must be accepted by landlords
  • VCAT can refer a tenant to a financial counsellor  
  • VCAT may dismiss an eviction if the tenant has a need for social support or alternative accommodation
  • Free access to see if you’re on a residential tenancy database
  • Improved rights to have pets
more

11th October 2018     VICTORIAN HOMELESSNESS ELECTION PLATFORM
by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP)

Council to Homeless Persons has released the Victorian Homelessness Election Platform 2018. The platform contains 17 calls to action that provide a blueprint for ending homelessness in Victoria.

In the lead up to the November State election, CHP will be encouraging every major party to adopt the Platform's recommendations.

Services are encouraged to forward the Election Platform to local MPs, highlighting any recommendations of particular local concern.  more

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