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2nd June 2019     'I'M NOT LIVING, I'M EXISTING': NO EASY FIX FOR ROOMING HOUSES
by Miki Perkins in The Age

Barry’s* life wasn’t always like this. He worked for years in a well-paid role as an account manager with Telstra and had a mortgage on the house where he lived.

But when he was “restructured” out of a job Barry couldn’t meet his mortgage repayments and life has felt like a downhill slide ever since. The bank foreclosed on his house, he moved from one crummy private rental to the next and ended up sleeping on a bench on Swanston Street.

Now Barry's home is a tiny room - one of 14 -  at the rear of a dilapidated weatherboard rooming house in Melbourne's north. His possessions are stacked so high it’s difficult to get through the door. The roof leaks over his bed and the lock is broken.

The house's volatile and intimidating landlord has made Barry’s life a misery - including throwing his possessions into a skip and assaulting him - and for all of this, Barry pays $200 a week in rent.

Three years ago the government introduced minimum standards in rooming houses, including that operators must apply for a licence and follow standards of hygiene, safety and security.

But the reality is that many remain decrepit and hazardous environments that damage the physical and mental health of the residents.

Click here for the full article.  more

16th May 2019     CAN THE POPULARITY OF TINY HOMES PROVIDE A SOLUTION FOR OLDER WOMEN FACING HOMELESSNESS?
by Melissa Martin, ABC News

The number of women over the age of 55 experiencing housing stress and homelessness is rising in Australia, but the increasing interest in tiny homes may provide a viable solution for these women.

The quirky, transportable homes have become the darling of the reality TV scene, and social media groups sharing ideas and tips for tiny homes boast tens of thousands of followers.

Now moves are afoot on the NSW mid-north coast to establish a tiny home village, specifically for older women.

Click here for the full article.  more

15th May 2019     CHANGES TO ALLOCATIONS TO SOUTHBANK AND LAUNCH HOUSING EAST ST KILDA
by Launch Housing

Please find attached communication for homelessness agencies re allocations to Launch Housing Southbank and Launch Housing East St Kilda. more

17th April 2019     VICTORIAN HOMELESSNESS MEDIA AWARDS - APPLICATIONS OPEN 22 APRIL 2019!
by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP)

Stories told by writers and reporters are vital in changing perceptions of homelessness, and enhancing understanding of the causes and solutions.

The Victorian Homelessness Media Awards recognise and encourage outstanding, responsive and respectful reporting in relation to homelessness.

Stories published or broadcast during the 2018-19 period are eligible for entry. Applicants have the chance to share in a $6500 prize pool.

Entries will be judged on their originality, the quality of journalism, ethical and respectful portrayals of people experiencing homelessness, the ability to enhance understanding of the structural causes of homelessness and, if relevant, the solutions. Judges will also be interested in examination of how homelessness intersects with other social issues such as gender, mental health, affordable housing, the justice system and family violence.

Click here for more information: www.chp.org.au/media-awards more

17th April 2019     'FINDING A HOME IN VICTORIA' IN ENGLISH, ARABIC AND DARI
by Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health

Last year, at the request of DHHS, the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health developed a resource for newly-arrived Syrian and Iraqi communities in the north about accessing community services.

During the focus group consultation, finding a home came up as a constant concern, and it was clear that people were not aware of services, translated resources and options available to them. Subsequently, the Department commissioned the Centre to develop a resource specifically about housing, which has been translated in Arabic and Dari.

The Finding a home in Victoria resource is now available online. You can find the English, Arabic and Dari versions on the Health Translations Directory here or by copying this address:
http://healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcht.nsf/PresentDetail?Open&s=Finding_a_home_in_Victoria. more

30th March 2019     "APPALLING, EXTREMELY UNSAFE' MOTELS POCKET MILLIONS FROM HOMELESS, FAMILY VIOLENCE VICTIMS
by James Hancock, ABC News

Women and children fleeing family violence are being sent to filthy and unsafe motels because of a severe shortage in emergency accommodation, according to an alarming new report.

The "Crisis In Crisis" report by North and West Homelessness Networks found millions of taxpayer dollars are being paid each year to so-called "slum landlords" running the budget motels.

The problem is not unique to Victoria, however, with Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data showing 11,600 Australians who sought emergency accommodation in 2016-17 ending up in motels and rooming houses.

Click here for the full report: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-15/family-violence-victims-sent-to-unsafe-motels-in-housing-crisis/10793992 more

30th March 2019     NO MORE REFERRALS TO DODGY CRISIS HOUSING, WARN HOMELESSNESS SERVICES
by Miki Perkins in The Age

Miki Perkins reports on the launch of the Northern and Western Homelessness Networks' report, Crisis in Crisis:

Services were “drawing a line in the sand”, said Zoe Vale, a representative of the North and Western Homelessness Networks, and a senior manager in the homelessness sector.

“Yes, there is a risk that we would be turning people away without assistance, which is not something we do lightly,” Ms Vale said. “[But] we’re not funded to create harm, we’re funded to help people. What we’re saying is that we need to stop doing this."

or the first time, these services have revealed the financial cost to taxpayers of putting vulnerable people in substandard crisis accommodation.

More than $2.5 million in public funds was spent by services in Melbourne’s north and west to house 9000 households in substandard temporary accommodation last year, according to the report. This was a 500 per cent increase since 2011.

Across Victoria, there are only 423 government-funded crisis beds. To make up the significant shortfall in accommodation, homelessness services are forced to purchase rooms in low-end hotels and private room houses. more

30th March 2019     ONE MILLION SOCIAL AND AFFORDABLE HOMES NEEDED TO COMBAT RENTAL STRESS
by Luke Michael in Pro Bono

NSW City Futures Research Centre’s latest report said the number of Australians in rental stress – paying more than a third of their income on rent – meant there was a need for an extra 728,600 social housing properties and 295,000 affordable rental homes by 2036.

The research showed it would cost governments $8.6 billion a year to deliver these properties working with the not-for-profit sector, which is $3 billion a year less than current negative gearing and capital gains tax subsidies.

Lead researcher Laurence Troy said to cover the backlog of unmet need and future need over the next 20 years, two in 10 new homes would need to be social housing while a further one in 10 would need to be affordable rental homes.

“Our analysis shows that the sheer number of households in rental stress across the country means that if we’re going to meet the need, at least 12 per cent of all our housing by 2036 will need to be social and affordable housing… a very reasonable ambition in global terms,” Troy said.

Click here for the full article: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2019/03/one-million-social-affordable-homes-needed-combat-rental-stress/ more

30th March 2019     PRACTICE GUIDE: CREATING POSITIVE SOCIAL CLIMATES AND HOME-LIKE ENVIRONMENTS IN THERAPEUTIC CARE.
by Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care

This new Practice Guide Creating identifies strategies for creating positive social climates and  home-like environments in therapeutic care for children and young people. more

30th March 2019     GUIDE TO FOOD BANKS AND OTHER FOOD SERVICES
by City of Melbourne

The attached guide provides information on food banks and a range of other food services across Melbourne's inner city suburbs.  more

30th March 2019     EMERGING MINDS: TRAINING AND RESOURCES
by National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health

Emerging Minds is a new federally funded project to take an Early Intervention and Prevention focus which aims to build workforce capacity to better support children and parents/carers and improve mental health outcomes of children aged 0 – 12 years.

Emerging Minds offers a range of online and face to face courses (see attached list).  Staff are available to help agencies work on their policies and practices in relation to working with children.

To find out more visit the Centre’s national web hub at www.emergingminds.com.au for access to innovative online training and resources, implementation and practice support tools, the latest industry news or to subscribe to our newsletter.. Alternatively you can contact your local Child Mental Health Workforce Consultants Angela Scuderi at scuderia@emergingminds.com.au or Courtney Schuurman at schuurmanc@emergingminds.com.au more

30th March 2019     GREENLIGHT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM
by Greenlight Partnership

GreenLight Supportive Housing Program,  is a new 2 year state funded initiative, assisting people transitioning from homelessness to long-term housing in the City of Melbourne, City of Yarra and City of Port Philip (either residing in, or having links to services in this area).

People can also be referred by housing providers where the person is in appropriate housing, their tenancy is less than 12 months and tenancy risks have been identified. The GreenLight Housing Support Program prioritises tenancy advocacy and care coordination/collaboration.

Greenlight believe that this approach to housing settlement support will lead to greater outcomes for the people we work alongside. Please see attached brochures for further information about the program, support available and agencies delivering GreenLight support.

Please note that GreenLight will only take on referrals when there is an identified long-term housing option that has been offered and accepted by the client. more

24th January 2019     HOMELESS 'EMERGENCY': 40% OF THOSE NEEDING HELP HOUSING TURNED AWAY
by Sydney Morning Herald, reported by Council to Homeless Persons

Almost 40 per cent of people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness in Victoria were refused when seeking help last year, as the state’s social housing shortage grew more acute.

New figures reveal the Andrews government failed to increase the size of Victoria’s social housing stocks in its first term, instead overseeing a small decline in the amount of social housing across the state.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services, published on Tuesday, reveals that Victoria has the second worst record in the country for failing to meet the housing needs of vulnerable people, behind NSW.

It also reveals that the state went backwards in tackling the problem during Labor’s first term.

Click here for the full article: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/homeless-emergency-40-percent-of-those-needing-housing-help-turned-away-20190122-p50sy9.html?csp=2b987c428f642d2625ad6c56f35adecf more

24th January 2019     RESOURCES FOR LGBTI PEOPLE
by LGBTI Homelessness and Family Violence Project Worker

This website is a great resource for LGBTI clients and also has information for service providers. Links to LGBTI housing, such as the Queer Housing Melbourne Facebook group, can be found at the bottom of this page. 

http://www.lgbtihomeless.org.au/resources/for-lgbti-people/ more

24th January 2019     SECTOR SLAMS SOCIAL HOUSING SPENDING AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
by Pro Bono

Victoria spends less than any other state in Australia on social housing, new research shows, with the community housing sector labelling the figures a “damning insight” into years of neglect on the issue from both state and federal governments.

On Tuesday, the Australian Productivity Commission released the Report on Government Spending (RoGS), with key findings revealing Victoria spent just $530 million on social housing, behind New South Wales ($1.37 billion), Queensland  ($629 million) and Western Australia ($829 million). 

Taking population growth into account, Victoria’s spend per person on social housing was $82.94 in 2017-18, compared to the national average of $166.93. more

24th January 2019     MATERIAL AID GUIDE
by North and West Children's Resource Coordinators

See the attached guide to some material aid options in Melbourne. more

24th January 2019     HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IN VICTORIA
by Dr Kate Raynor for the Parliament of Victoria

This paper has been produced for the Parliament of Victoria to outline the impact of a changing housing market is impacting on the way Victorians live. 

This paper provides insights into housing affordability and housing stress in Australia, and specifically in Victoria, over the last decade.

In particular:

  • Victoria's population is growing rapidly and is increasingly urbanised;
  • More people are renting;
  • Fewer young people are entering home ownership and they are doing it later;
  • Housing is becoming more unaffordable; and
  • More people are experiencing housing stress and taking on greater debt burdens.
more

24th January 2019     HOARDING AND SQUALOR RESOURCES
by Maroondah Hoarding and Squalor Network

Below is a link to a hoarding and squalor resource put together by Maroondah Hoarding and Squalor Network. Their website, while focused on services in the east, has some useful information and links as well:
http://www.hoardingsqualormaroondah.org.au/ 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

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

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