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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

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     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     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     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

Events

2019July
2 SHS Team Leadership Training - 2 & 3 July
2019August
27 National Housing Conference
2019October
14 Victorian Homelessness Conference