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13th September 2017     SAVE THE DATE: VICTORIAN HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE 2017
by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP)

This year's Victorian homelessness conference will have a dedicated youth homelessness stream alongside the generalist homelessness program. Subscribe to conference updates here. more

21st July 2017     WOMEN'S HEALTH WEST COMMUNITY EDUCATION SESSIONS
by Women's Health West

Women's Health West Integrated Family Violence Serivces is offering  community education sessions throughout 2017 for staff from across the community sector to attend.  

These sessions will provide our colleagues across the community sector an overview of the programs offered throughout the FVIS as well as referral pathways and eligibility criteria.  

The session will be held bi-monthly on 4th Tuesday, from May from 2pm-3:30pm at WHW Footscray office, 317-319 Barkly Street Footscray.

lease see attached flyer for further details.

more

19th July 2017     AUSTRALIA AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONFERENCE: TACKLING AUSTRALIA'S HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS RETHINKING HOUSING THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS, PEOPLE, PLACES AND POLICIES
by Clariden Global

Clariden Global is running: Australia Affordable Housing Conference: Tackling Australia's Housing Affordability Crisis in Sydney, Australia from 19 - 21 July 2017 to hear from Founder of Big World Homes, Alexander Symes on how flat pack housing could be an alternative solution to tackle the housing affordability issues. Micro homes have been successfully implemented in cities such as London, New York and Hong Kong.

Costing just $65,000, a drill, a hammer and a wrench are all one needs to build their own flat-pack homes. Flat-pack homes can cut up to 80% of the typical costs of a stand-alone home. With the property prices continue soaring high, a transitional housing product offers a viable solution to first time home buyers that suits their lifestyle and aspirations while saving for their first home deposit.

Details: 19 - 21 July 2017 | Novotel Sydney Central Hotel

Cilck here for a link to the Conference brochure.

Group discount of 10 % for the 2nd participant from the same organization. 
For limited time only by 
 21 June 2017, register 3 participants and the 4th participant will receive a complimentary seat. For 5 or more registrations, please contact KarenWoods: karen.woods@claridenglobal.org. more

29th June 2017     AHURI ONE DAY CONFERENCE: AFFORDABILITY AND LIVEABILITY IN OUR CITY
by AHURI

AHURI are running a national one day conference to examine the importance of housing to developing economically productive, affordable and liveable cities. The keynote speaker will beHon Angus Taylor MP, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation. 

Register here 
Thursday, 29 June, 2017 8:00 AM – 4:15 PM

Venue:
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, Victoria 3006, Australia

Cost: 
$375 AUD (including GST) which includes all catering. To register now, click the red 'Yes' button below.
more

28th June 2017     FLAT OUT FILM FUNDRAISER: TWENTIETH CENTURY WOMEN
by Flat Out

Join Flat Out at a fundraising screening of this new movie and support women leaving prison, and their families in Victoria. (See attached flyer.)

Annette Bening returns to the big screen as a single mother running a bohemian boarding house in Santa Barbara in 1979 and struggling to raise her teenage son in a society that she doesn’t recognise or understand anymore. She enlists the help of the other influential women in his life to try and raise him to be a man in modern society and intimacy but also conveys the importance of communication between parents and their children.

Trailer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4385888/videoplayer/vi4103845401?ref_=vi_nxt_ap

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Film start time: 6.30 pm 

Venue:  Palace Kino Cinema, Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne

Tickets will be $25 solidarity, $20 full, and $15 concession
Click on the link to get your ticket! https://www.trybooking.com/PUJX


https://www.trybooking.com/277417

If you can’t make it, please consider donating to Flat Out http://www.givenow.com.au/flatout more

27th June 2017     RELEASE OF CENSUS DATA
by Australian Bureau of Statistics

The first and main release of the detailed data from 2016 Census will be released on 27 June 2017.

The June release will include national, state/territory and capital city data with most key person, family and dwelling characteristics, including age, sex, religion, language and income.

Community level Census data, including information on small population groups and for small geographic areas such as suburbs and Local Government Areas will also be available then. 27 June will also show us population growth for Australia and our states and territories when Rebased Estimated Resident Population is also released.

The ABS will build over 80,000 QuickStats to support each of these different areas, as well as over 30,000 different detailed Community Profile workbooks.

NB Unfortunately I think the homelessness data will not be included in the June release (Western Networker).  more

23rd June 2017     WHO’S RESPONSIBLE? HOUSING POLICY MISMATCHED TO OUR $6 TRILLION ASSET
by Prof J Dodson, S Sinclair and T Dalton in The Conversation

Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock? We ask this question in a newly released research report. The answer is critically important to both household opportunity and prosperity, and to the management of our largest national asset.

Australians’ wealth is overwhelmingly in our housing. As of late 2016, our housing stock was valued at $6 trillion. That’s nearly double the combined value of ASX capitalisation and superannuation funds.

The authors appraised the Henry Review of Taxation (2010), the National Housing Supply Council report series (2009-2013), the Productivity Commission inquiry into planning (2011), the COAG Report on Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (2012), the Financial System Inquiry (2014), the Federation Report on housing and homelessness (2014), and (albeit not a government report) the Senate Inquiry into housing affordability (2015). 

This report demonstrates weaknesses in Australia’s approach to housing and housing policymaking. There is evidence this is deliberate. For example, the Coalition members’ minority response to the 2015 Senate inquiry into affordable housing rejected almost all of its policy recommendations. Many of these would rectify some of the deficits we have identified.

The weak formal coordination in housing policy contrasts with other sectors such as energy, defence, biosecurity, disability, heritage, drugs and road safety, among others. 

The authors recommend that the Australian government reflects on the position of housing within the architecture of government. The $6 trillion national asset that housing represents deserves much better understanding of its dynamics and effects on the national economy, including productivity.

The authors argue that Australia needs a federal minister for housing, a dedicated housing portfolio, and an agency responsible for conceptualising and co-ordinating policy. The current fragmented, ad-hoc approach to housing policy seems poorly matched to the scale of the housing sector and its importance to Australia. more

23rd June 2017     SUPPORTIVE HOUSING IS CHEAPER THAN CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS
by C Parsell, University of Qld in The Conversation

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

28th May 2017     PETS IN THE PARK CLINICS: FREE VET SUPPORT FOR PETS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS
by Pets in the Park

The next Pets in the Park Clinic is on 28th May 2017. (See attached flyer for more information).

Pets in the Park looks forward to seeing their regular Pet loving owners and always welcome new faces.

They will be having our next desexing clinic in June, so please make sure to remind your clients that vaccinations need to be up to date to be eligible.

Homelessness includes, rough sleeping, couch surfing, Tenting or caravan, rooming or boarding house, refuge or domestic violence shelter, transitional housing.

Several of our Pet Owners referrals ( valid for 6 months) are out of date, so I shall be following up with referrers to complete a new one.

Please do not worry, no pet will be denied a service if the referral is out of date.  more

24th May 2017     ESTABLISHMENT OF FAMILY SAFETY VICTORIA
by Victorian Government

As part of a $1.91 billion package of measures in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, $60 million will fund the establishment of Family Safety Victoria, the state’s first-ever agency solely dedicated to delivering family violence reform.

From 1 July, Family Safety Victoria will lead the implementation of new initiatives, including establishing the Central Information Point, which will allow police, courts and government services to track perpetrators and keep victims safe.

The agency will also be responsible for establishing the Centre for Workforce Excellence and 17 Support and Safety Hubs across the state, to give victims the support they need to recover.

The details of Family Safety Victoria and how the Labor Government will deliver $1.91 billion of investment is contained in the Family Violence Rolling Action Plan. The Plan details the next steps in the Labor Government’s 10 Year Agenda to implement every recommendation from Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence.  

Kelly Stanton, currently the General Manager of Services at Wesley Mission Victoria, has been appointed to the position of Executive Director, Hubs and Service Coordination at FSV.  more

24th May 2017     HOMELESSNESS WEEK 2017
by Western Networker

The Western LASN Steering Group has formed a working group to support Western LASN agencies in planning coordinated events for Homelessness Week 2017 (7-13 of August) under the 'Blanketing the Community' banner. 

Please contact Sarah, Western Homelessness Networker, if you would like to assist in organising these events (sarah@wombat.org.au).  

CHP is encouraging agencies and complementary services to host an eventin the week prior to Homeless Persons Week, to leverage a pre-Parliamentary sitting week. Inviting your local MP to an event prior to a parliamentary sitting week is an effective way to inform public debate about homelessness. Homelessness Week is a chance to celebrate our clients but and inform our local MPs and media about what is needed to end homelessness where we live and work. more

24th May 2017     IS THIS THE BUDGET THAT FORGOT RENTERS?
by Emma Power, Geography and Urban Studies, Western Sydney University in The Conversation

The measures in the 2017-18 federal budget targeting the supply of lower-cost rental housing are limited. There are no significant funding increases to social housing and homelessness services. There is no increase in rent assistance to help low-income renters in the private rental market.

Capital gains tax and negative gearing settings remain largely untouched, and the proposed bond aggregator will support expansion of housing aimed at very specific groups. 

For the majority of Australia’s renters, housing will remain unaffordable, insecure and out of reach.

What’s missing?

There remains a need for courageous government action to tackle the structural inequities in the housing market. 

Removing tax incentives that keep investor heat in the market will be essential – and so will increases to social housing budgets.

Investment in a large stock of secure low-cost social housing should be prioritised. Failing this, there will be a need to increase rent assistance payments, particularly in high-cost regions. 

But this is far from ideal. More rent assistance will help renters in the short term, but amounts to a subsidy for private landlords in the long term.

Click here for a link to the full article. more

24th May 2017     WHAT THE FEDERAL BUDGET 2017 MEANS FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
by Michael Perusco and Dr Guy Johnson, RMIT, in Pro Bono

After years of neglect by both political parties housing affordability has finally become a major public policy issue

Addressing housing affordability is a serious policy challenge. Australians store a great deal of their wealth in housing. As such any policy responses that seek to address housing affordability must avoid creating a housing market shock which could ripple out into other areas of the economy. To avoid such a shock the federal government describes its policy approach as akin to using a scalpel rather than a chainsaw.

The budget contains a number of measures to address housing affordability and combined, they provide a good platform for future growth. The establishment of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (the Corporation) is a welcome move. The Corporation will establish a bond aggregator from 1 July 2018 which will issue bonds to investors and use the funds raised to lend to community housing providers to increase the supply of affordable housing.

With respect to homelessness, the budget commits to ongoing funding for homelessness services.

The budget did not set out a national affordable housing strategy, nor did it increase rent assistance to those struggling in the housing market or increase government funding for new social housing. There were also missed opportunities in relation to reforming negative gearing and capital gains concessions which play a key role in fuelling the current housing crisis. Something more than a scalpel, but less than a chainsaw is going to be required to address housing affordability.

Click here for a link to the full article. more

24th May 2017     NEW STRUCTURE FOR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
by DHHS

DHHS will move to a new structure on 3 July, consisting of six Divisions, each headed by a senior deputy secretary:

  • Children, Families, Disability and Operations – Chris Asquini
  • Health and Wellbeing – Terry Symonds
  • Housing, Infrastructure, Sport and Recreation – Nick Foa
  • Regulation, Health Protection and Emergency Management – Melissa Skilbeck
  • Corporate Services – Carolyn de Gois
  • Strategy and Planning – Amity Durham (Acting)

The new structure also includes three portfolio agencies:
Victorian Agency for Health Information – Diane Watson
Safer Care Victoria – Professor Euan Wallace
Family Safety Victoria – Kelly Stanton

  more

24th May 2017     WHAT’S IN THE NAME ‘HOMELESS’? HOW PEOPLE SEE THEMSELVES AND THE LABELS WE APPLY MATTER
by Zoe Walter, The University of Queensland et al, in The Conversation

The researchers examined the question of how people who would be identified as homeless through our definitions see themselves.

They examined this question in a large-scale research project with the Salvation Army. We started by exploring how many people who were staying in crisis homeless accommodation would see themselves as a “homeless person”.

We found that 55% of people staying in homeless accommodation provided by The Salvation Army identified as “homeless”, and 31% rejected that label.

14% were ambivalent about categorising themselves as “homeless” – they neither fully accepted nor rejected the label. For example, they said they were “not 100% homeless” or that even though they might “technically” be classed as homeless, they did not see that as an accurate way to describe their situation.

The reasons people gave for their responses reflected the complex and varied nature of what is meant by “home”. Some saw themselves as homeless because they did not have the stability, security or privacy bound up in our Western notion of home.

The researchers found that the wellbeing of people who refused to define themselves as “homeless” was significantly higher than the wellbeing of those who had adopted the label to describe themselves. 

Somewhat surprisingly, people who had experienced chronic homelessness in the past were no more or less likely to self-categorise as homeless than people who had few or no previous homeless experiences.

What are the lessons for service providers?
Given the importance of self-definitions for mental health and wellbeing, understanding how people see themselves has important policy implications. 

Our research shows that not everyone who needs crisis accommodation defines themselves as a homeless person. However, individuals must typically self-identify as such to gain entry to homeless services. 

This means these people are required to adopt a view of themselves that is in and of itself associated with negative wellbeing outcomes. There is a need for housing and supported accommodation that does not put pressure on people to identify as homeless and thus to carry the baggage associated with that label.

click here for a link to the full article.

Click here for a link to the research abstract. more

24th May 2017     BROKERAGE ROUND OPEN FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS LIVING IN PUBLIC OR COMMUNITY HOUSING WHO ARE AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS
by Victorian Government

Secondary students who live in public or community housing or who are at risk of homelessness are eligible to apply for a $1,100 Victorian Government scholarship.

There are 230 scholarships available, designed to assist with expenses such as books, laptops and course fees.

Students are eligible to apply for a scholarship if they are under 21 years of age, experiencing financial hardship, and living in social housing or at risk of homelessness. Students must be studying in Year 11 or Year 12 at a Victorian Government school - or the equivalent at TAFE - for the 2018 academic year.

The funding is administered by Kids under Cover. Teachers are invited to nominate eligible young people in their school or TAFE. Applications can be made between 22 May and 30 June 2017. more

24th May 2017     TWO PICTURES OF RENTAL HOUSING STRESS AND VULNERABILITY ZERO IN ON AREAS OF NEED
by Chris Martin Research Fellow, City Housing, UNSW, in The Conversation

Two new tools for measuring and visualising problems in our rental housing system are in the media this week. They have similar names – the Rental Affordability Index (RAI) and the Rental Vulnerability Index (RVI) – but use different methods to offer distinct but complementary perspectives. Together they reveal that almost nowhere in our capital cities can low-income households – and those on average incomes in Sydney – afford the median rent. Mapping rental vulnerability reveals households in regional areas are struggling too.

Of the capitals, Sydney’s affordability problems are deepest and spread furthest, but much of Melbourne and Brisbane is unaffordable to average renters too. Outside the capitals, most of the regions are affordable. 

The quick takeaway from this perspective would be support for policies to increase the supply of affordable rental housing, particularly in our capital cities. These measures would include:

  • building more social housing

  • changing planning rules to allow more residential development

  • using inclusionary zoning to ensure a proportion of new development is kept as affordable rental

  • making greater use of land tax, including on owner-occupied housing, to ensure land owners don’t speculatively sit on development opportunities.
     
  • Regional areas have a pressing need for services – such as tenants advice services – that give vulnerable households material assistance in dealing with housing problems.
Click here for a link to the full article. 

  more

24th May 2017     PURCHASE YOUR FIGHTING FAIR TRAINING IN 16/17 TO RUN IN 17/18
by Western Homelessness Networker

Fighting Fair (one of the best training providers I know) are able to give organisations the option of paying for PD (in-house training workshops from those listed below) prior to June 30 - these PD trainings can be then held in the next financial year 2017–2018 at a time that is most convenient for your organisatioIn-House Training Workshops 2017  

FIGHTING FAIR:

  • Fighting Fair: Mediation & Conflict Resolution (Level 1)
  • Fighting Fair: Advanced Mediation (Level 2)
  • Fighting Fair: Accredited Mediation Training (to become a Australian Nationally Accredited Mediator – 5 days)
  • Fighting Fair: Mediation for Managers – Workplace Conflict
  • Fighting Fair: Mediation & Parent/ Adolescent Conflict
  • Fighting Fair: Mediator Mindset – Thinking Like A Mediator (NEW!)
  • Fighting Fair: Mediation & Mindfulness (NEW!)
  • Fighting Fair: Conciliation & Conflict Resolution
  • Fighting Fair: Conflict Resolution – Skills & Strategies
  • Fighting Fair: Negotiation Skills (NEW!)
  • Fighting Fair: Team Culture and Conflict Resolution
  • Fighting Fair: Conflict Coaching
  • Fighting Fair: Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination

THE ARTISTRY OF FACILITATION:

  • The Artistry of Facilitation: Training Small Groups
  • The Artistry of Facilitation: Presentation Skills
  • The Artistry of Facilitation: Collaborate! Leading Effective Meetings

THE ‘DIFFICULT’ SERIES: 

  • Dealing with Difficult but Necessary Conversations
  • Dealing with Aggressive Client/ Customer Behaviour

THE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EI) CONNECTION:

  • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Intelligence & Team Culture

TEAM CULTURE (BUILDING):

  • Team Culture & Conflict Resolution
  • Team Culture & Emotional/ Social Intelligence
  • Detox your Team! From Toxic to Terrific (NEW!) 

THE CONSCIOUS & MINDFUL LEADER (NEW SERIES!)

  • The Conscious & Mindful Leader: Foundations (NEW!)
  • The Conscious & Mindful Leader: Conflict Resolution & Mediation (NEW!)
  • The Conscious & Mindful Leader: Team Culture (NEW!)
  • The Conscious & Mindful Leader: Negotiation Skills (NEW!)

Each participating organisation will receive:

  • An initial consultation to determine the training requirements of the organisation 
  • A customised manual for each staff member 
  • A training DVD for the organisation (if course applicable) 
  • Attendance certificates 
  • Post consultation support to discuss implementation & further requirements 

For more information contact: Scott Dutton bsw.bsc.maasw on 0425 83 77 56

or at: contact@fightingfair.com.au

www.fightingfair.com.au

more

24th May 2017     NEW NATIONAL HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS AGREEMENT AND RECURRENT NPAH FUNDING
by Western Homelessness Networker

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

Events

2017June
29 AHURI One Day Conference: Affordability and Liveability in our City
2017July
21 Women's Health West community education sessions
2017September
13 Save the Date: Victorian Homelessness Conference 2017