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11th October 2018     50 LIVES 50 HOMES HOUSING FIRST PROJECT
by Australian Policy Online

The 50 Lives 50 Homes project (hereafter referred to as 50 Lives) is a Housing First and collective impact response to ending homelessness in Perth, and the first of its kind in Western Australia. The project commenced in 2015 and takes a collaborative approach to house and provide support for Perth’s most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness.

This second evaluation report describes the progress to date of the 50 Lives project in relation to housing and supporting vulnerable rough sleepers.

Click here for a link to the article and report more

9th August 2018     STATE GOVERNMENT TRIALS INCLUSIONARY ZONING
by Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Andrews Labor Government is making more affordable homes available for vulnerable Victorians through its Inclusionary Housing Pilot.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne announced today that an invitation to participate in the Pilot has been extended nationwide from today through Tenders VIC.

The Pilot is part of the Homes for Victorians program and has identified six surplus government sites with potential for mixed housing types in Broadmeadows, Boronia, Parkville, Wodonga, Reservoir and Noble Park.

A minimum of 100 social housing dwellings and a percentage of affordable housing homes will be provided across the sites. more

8th August 2018     HOMELESSNESS WEEK 2018
by Western Homelessness Networker

The theme for Homelessness Week in August this yearwas "Ending homelessness together". 

Services across Melbourne's north and west ran a series events to raise awareness about the impact of the housing crisis in Melbourne and the extent of homelessness in our community. If you would like to know a bit about homelessness (from the Census) in your LGA you can find some pamphlets here: http://www.nwhn.net.au/Homelessness-in-North-and-West-Melbourne.aspx

What can you do to support the Homelessness Sector to end homelessness?
Sign a petition and ask your friends, family and workmates to sign up to let Parliament know that we need to address the housing crisis:

North and West Homelessness Network petition: "More houses for people - support homelessness workers to fight for more affordable housing"
https://chn.ge/2nm7kbn

National Everybody's Home petition: http://everybodyshome.com.au

Download petitions to the Federal and State Parliaments at: http://www.nwhn.net.au/Homelessness-Week-2018.aspx

(You can return pettions to Western Homelessness Networker (sarah@wombat.org.au) or Northern Homelessness Networker (meredith.gorman@launchhousing.org.au) more

8th August 2018     OUR STORY ART EXHIBITION
by Western Homelessness Networker

Photo: Ellen Sandell MP opens Our Story Art Exhibition.

Wombat Housing & Support Service and Lulu Gallery and Cafe are hosting an exhibition of art by people who have experienced homelessness.

This Homelessness Week event is on until the 14th August.

For more photos of the exhibition see https://www.weekendnotes.com/our-story-art-exhibition/158967/ and https://www.weekendnotes.com/our-story-art-exhibition/ more

8th August 2018     PLEA TO DO MORE FOR HOMELESS: STALL TO HIGHLIGHT AFFORDABILITY CRISIS
by Bridie Byrne, Northern Leader and Western Homelessness Networker

Women In Supportive Housing in the North (WISHIN), Merri Outreach and Support Service, Salvation Army Crossroads and VincentCare are running a Homelessness Week stall in Broadmeadows Shopping Square from 11am- 2pm until Friday 9 August.

The latest Census data shows 916 people were homeless in Hume on Census night. WISHIN Strategic Services Manager, Tanya McColl, said homelessness is a complex social problem with a number of underlying economic and social factors such as poverty, family violence, mental health issues and addictions.

Ms McColl said the extent of the situation is reflective of the housing crisis in Melbourne.

For the full articl see: http://leader.smedia.com.au/hume/ more

8th August 2018     HOMELESSNESS WEEK STALL IN NORTHERN HOSPITAL
by Northern Homelessness Networker

The DPV Health Homelessness Team, with support from Whittlesea Community Connections and Have Home Safe Preston, have run an information stall at Northern Hall all week.

The stall will be open until 4pm on Friday 9 August. more

8th August 2018     A BLANKET SOLUTION FOR THOSE IN NEED
by Star Weekly and Western Homelessness Networker

Photo:  Tim Pallas donates blankets to Uniting Wyndham.

Uniting Wyndham held their annual Blanket Wyndham event today in Werribee, including a petting zoo, BBQ by Rotary and free fairy floss.  Members of the community entered a competion testing their knowledge about homelessness in Werribee.

In Wyndham, there has been a 76 per cent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness between 2011 and 2016, according to Census data.

This year, Ray White Werribee and Loan Market Werribee have partnered with Uniting Wyndham for the blanket drive, last week delivering five car loads of new blankets and bedding to Uniting Wyndham.

For an article on the event see: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/a-blanket-solution-for-those-in-need/ more

7th August 2018     SEEKING A SOLUTION
by Melton and Moorabool Star Weekly

Photo: Melton Mayor Bob Turner is concerned about homelessness.

Australians are being ralled to 'end homelessness together'.  A number of events and activities are being hosted in Melto.  There was an information stall and 'art battle' at the Melton Library on August 9. Participants can decorate mini wooden houses donated by the Melton Men's Shed. Artists have donated their time to produce paintings which will be sold to raise funds for the Melton South Foodbank.

On August 10 there will be a stall and free BBQ at Melton South Community Centre.

  more

1st December 2017     SUPPORT AND SAFETY HUBS STATEWIDE CONCEPT PAPER
by NIFVs

Support and Safety Hubs Statewide Concept Paper


The Statewide Concept for Support and Safety Hubs, was released  recently by the Victorian Government. The Concept outlines design features of the Hubs, including access pathways and key functions.

The next stage will be the development of the practice framework, operational model and management and government structures. These will be informed by statewide and local co-design.

 A local Hub establishment group will be developed in the coming month to establish a launch site in the North-East Melbourne area. more more

3rd August 2017     A FINANCIAL BLACK HOLE AWAITS ‘GENERATION RENT’ IN RETIREMENT
by Rob Burgess, The New Daily

The deterioration in wealth equality revealed in Tuesday’s HILDA survey should be seen as a crossroads in Australian history – either we continue down the road to inequality, or we fix the problem at its heart.

The highly respected survey showed a property-based class divide emerging due to plummeting home ownership rates in the under-40s.

That means a generation of renters will not accumulate wealth through the family home as their parents did.

That would not be a problem for ‘Generation Rent’ if, after a lifetime of renting, they could still afford a dignified retirement.

But unlike nations such as Germany and France, where renting is the norm, Australia has a welfare and retirement system still predicated on the idea of home ownership.

That’s a huge problem, because on present settings, couples or individuals who have not paid off homes by retirement will be much worse off than those who have.

Access to property ownership is no longer simply determined by hard work and enterprise – increasingly it is determined by the ‘bank of Mum and Dad’ helping the younger generation with a deposit.

A nation that once encouraged its young adults to be economically independent has, through cynical wealth-redistributing policies, forced them back into being dependent on their asset-rich parents – if, that is, they are lucky enough to have them.

The Australian dream of owning a home outright in retirement is fading fast. 
more

1st August 2017     WALK IN MY SHOES TOURS
by Council for homeless persons

As part of Homelessness Week the Council for Homeless Persons are  organising a couple of PESP Walk in My Shoes Tours (Tues 8th & Wed 9th) that are open to the public.

Please see flier attached, or here. I encourage you to circulate the info below to your networks. People from all sorts of backgrounds would find this activity of interest and benefit – local Government, community services, allied health, Centrelink, Department, Universities etc. more

1st August 2017     AUSTRALIA POST FREE 12 MONTH REDIRECTION OF MAIL SERVICE
by Australia Post

Australia Post supports victims of family violence  
Australia Post are providing a free 12 month mail redirection service to support victims of family violence. In terms of eligibility, either a letter from a support agency (on their letterhead) verifying  that the client has satisfied the agency's criteria for experiencing family violence, an intervention order or a statutory declaration from the police will be required   more

21st July 2017     PROMOTION OF SAFE SLEEPING ADVICE FOR HOMELESSNESS SECTOR
by Irene Tomasszewski Assistant Director Homelessness and Accommodation Support

Promotion of Safe Sleeping Advice for Homelessness Sector

The Commission for Children and Young People has recommended that homelessness services promote safe sleeping arrangements for infants, and the use of infant safe sleeping resources. This follows a recent child death inquiry and the tragic death of an infant. The purpose of child death inquiries is to promote continuous improvement in child protection and the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

The department is promoting the use of the following safe sleeping resources and information. Please share this advice with staff providing homelessness support to families and infants.

  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

6th March 2017     STATE GOVERNMENT RELEASES AFFORDABLE HOUSING STRATEGY
by Western Homelessness Networker

On 6 March The State Government released Homes for Victorians, its Affordable Housing Plan. This exciting document includes new policy such as:

  • A small inclusionary zoning pilot
  • Facilitating the build of 50,000 new homes a year
  • Growing social housing
  • Establishing a Vacancy tax
  • Abolishing stamp duty for new first time buyers
  • Doubling the first home owner grant in regional Victoria
  • Creating the opportunity for first home buyers to co-purchase a property with the Victorian Government
  • Improving stability for renters
more

3rd February 2017     NATIONAL LIST OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC AOD DETOX AND REHAB SERVICES
by HYDDI

Thank you to Carol from the Homeless Youth Dual Diagnosis Initiative for providing this comprehensive list of AOD detox and rehabilitation services.  more

3rd February 2017     KEEPING WOMEN AND CHILDREN HOUSED WOMEN’S HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION PROJECT TWO YEARS, TEN CLIENT STORIES AND TEN CALLS FOR CHANGE
by Justice Connect

Justice Connect Homeless Law has recently released a detailed report based on two-years of data and insights from its Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project (WHPP), Keeping Women and Children Housed: Two years, ten client stories and ten calls for change

In its first two years, the WHPP provided legal representation (including advice, negotiation and representation at VCAT) and social work support to 102 women with 157 children who were homeless or on the brink of it. Ninety per cent of these women had experienced family violence. After two years, the WHPP has an 83% success rate for finalised matters, meaning that women avoided eviction, secured new housing without an intervening period of homelessness or resolved another tenancy legal issue (e.g. a housing debt) that was a barrier to getting safe housing. 

A WHPP client, Rema, talks about what this meant for her in this video, Stopping Homelessness Before it Starts

Informed by what they’ve learned from providing legal representation and social work support to over 100 women experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Homeless Law has identified 10 systemic changes that will reduce the risk of homelessness for Victorian women and children. You can read them here

The report states: ‘As it stands, Victoria does not have a legal system or a culture geared toward homelessness prevention and this needs to change … Evictions into homelessness must be an absolute last resort and reducing barriers to immediate re-housing an urgent priority’.

more

3rd February 2017     CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUNDING
by Pro Bono

The Productivity Commission has found that federal government funding for the national affordable housing agreement (NAHA) decreased from $2.2 billion in 2011/12 to $1.8 billion last financial year. 

NAHA is a federal, state and territory initiative that aims to provide all Australians with access to affordable, safe and sustainable housing.

The Productivity Commission report also found that the states and territories decreased their net funding for social housing from $4.1 billion in 2014/15 to $3.9 billion last year. 

NSW Federation of Housing Association CEO Wendy Hayhurst told Pro Bono News more resources were needed to tackle Australia’s housing crisis. 

“The treasurer [Scott Morrison] talks quite clearly about the outcomes from the current investment not meeting the challenges that there are out there. And we would agree with that,” Hayhurst said. 

“What we would say is that there is a requirement for an additional resource. 

“All organisations working both in housing and homelessness recognise the need to ensure that they’re efficient and that the programs they deliver are effective.

“We want to spend money well, but there is a real shortage of affordable housing and that can impact on how services are delivered. It’s very difficult to deliver a homelessness service if there isn’t accomodation for the person you’re delivering the support services to.”

Click here for a link to the full article. more

31st January 2017     GROWTH OF HOUSE PRICES IN AUSTRALIA
by The Economist

Some graphs developed by The Economist show the growth of house prices in Australia to be higher that those of England, Canada and the US.

House prices in London, as well as in San Francisco, Vancouver and Stockholm have risen by an average of 13% a year over the past three years, while national prices have risen by 7.5%. That is pushing affordability to its limits: between 2002 and 2012 the typical London home sold for seven times the city’s average annual salary. That figure has since risen to 12 times. 

To determine whether homes are fairly valued The Economist looks at the relationship between prices and disposable income—an indicator of affordability—and between prices and rents—a substitute for buying a home. If rising prices move these ratios above their long-run averages, then either incomes or rents are likely to rise, or house prices to fall. Across America house prices, after falling by 25% from their peak between 2007 and 2012, are now at fair value compared with rents and incomes. But thanks largely to their big cities, housing appears to be more than 40% overvalued in Australia, Britain and Canada, according to the average of our two measures.

See the attached document containing four graphs outlining the growth in house prices in Australia against England, Canada and the US. more

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