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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

16th December 2016     HELP FOR HOMELESSNESS FALLS SHORT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE
by Anglicare Vic

The state government's $109 million plan to attack homelessness is a welcome initiative, particularly for the adult homeless, but it has a big blind spot. It fails to hit the target on the most tragic, yet most easily fixed aspect of youth homelessness.

In the past year more thanover 20,000 young people sought assistance from Victorian homeless services. Young people with backgrounds of state care feature the most heavily in these statistics. According to Swinburne University's national youth homeless survey, more than 60 per cent of homeless young people are from a background of out-of-home care. A further 35 per cent will have five or more places of abode within the first 12 months of exiting state care.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/help-for-our-homeless-falls-short-20161113-gso406.html more

16th December 2016     STATE GOVERNMENT RELEASES 10 YEAR PLAN TO END FAMILY VIOLENCE
by Western Homelessness Network Coordinator

The State Government has released: Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change. The Plan outlines how the Government will deliver thee recommendations of the Royal Commission in to Family Violence to build a future where all Victorians live free from family violence, and where women and men are treated equally and respectfully. The Plan was recommended by the Royal Commission. It is focused on outcomes. It makes clear our resolute determination to end the murders and keep our children safe, to support victim survivors and stop them falling into homelessness, to build strong and resilient families, and ensure perpetrators are.

Click here for a link to the Plan.

You can monitor the progress of implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations at: http://www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence.html more

6th November 2016     HOMELESSNESS SERVICES NEED ALTERNATE FUNDING TO MEET DEMAND
by Pro Bono

A study from the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact (CSI) found between 60.6 per cent and 84.6 per cent of the homelessness sector’s income came from government.

Lead author of the study and CSI director Professor Paul Flatau said the reliance on government funding made service providers vulnerable to changes in policy, funding cuts and financial constraints.

“In particular, current levels of funding are too low to fully meet the current needs of those experiencing homelessness and help homeless people find employment and access permanent housing,” Flatau said.

The study found only a minority of services were able to fully meet demands of their clients for access to permanent housing.

Flatau told Pro Bono Australia News the strain meant many service providers were already investigating alternative funding sources, to varying degrees of success. more

12th April 2016     $572M OVER TWO YEARS TO ENACT ROYAL COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS
by Premier of Victoria

The State Government has allocated a $572 million statewide funding boost over two years in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to respond to Royal Commission recommendations that must be done now – including more housing and crisis refuges, more counsellors, more prevention programs and more support for children who are victims of family violence.

This package begins to deliver 65 of the Royal Commission’s most urgent recommendations and is the first step in the long-term process to fix our broken system and change attitudes towards women.

The Labor Government’s family violence package, which puts victims at the heart of our reforms, includes:
• $152.5 million to begin a housing blitz to shelter more victims so they don’t have to choose between homelessness and returning to an abusive relationship. Work will commence on building and redeveloping family violence refuges, expanding crisis accommodation, and rapidly funding up to 130 new social housing homes. Victims will also be kept safe at home through innovative options such as help accessing the private rental market.

See the attached press release for further information. more

4th December 2015     FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT FAMILY VIOLENCE FLEXIBLE SUPPORT PACKAGES
by Department Health and Human Services

The Victorian Government recently announced a boost for more practical support for those experiencing family violence, to help them leave a violent relationship and create a safer, more stable future.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said $12 million over four years will fund Flexible Support Packages to assist with expenses faced by those escaping family violence. more

4th December 2015     EXPERTS WARN AUSTRALIAN PRIVATE RENTAL AT CRISIS POINT
by Nine news

Soaring rents are driving struggling Australians to breaking point, with suburbs once considered to be inexpensive now out of reach for many potential tenants.

Australia's first Rental Affordability Index has revealed that those looking to find rental relief have to move even further than ever from capital cities.

Last year, an estimated 1.6 million Australians struggled to pay their rent.

It's no longer just those on low incomes who are struggling to make ends meet, but also middle income earners in the private rental market.


Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/12/02/20/02/experts-warn-australian-private-rental-market-at-crisis-point#dQDWWi5fQZJwYbo3.99
more

4th December 2015     VICTORIA'S 10 YEAR MENTAL HEALTH PLAN
by DHHS/NIFVS

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley launched Victoria’s 10-year mental health plan.

The plan will guide investment and drive better mental health outcomes for Victorians, bringing together the ideas and insights you shared with us through the online consultation and forums.

http://www.nifvs.org.au/victorias-10-year-mental-health-plan-launched/ more

30th October 2015     ABORIGINAL RESOURCE GUIDE: WESTERN METROPOLITAN REGION
by Western Homelessness Networker

Brimbank City Council, Victoria University and the Victorian Government have developed a very useful Resource Guide to Aboriginal services and programs in Melbourne's West.  

The Resource Guide can be accessed at:  https://www.vu.edu.au/industry-community/community-partnerships-engagement/indigenous-partnerships more

Events

2019April
29 An Introduction To Working With Individuals Who Have Self-Destructive Behaviours
2019May
7 Making Links Orientation
7 SASHS Open House
14 Brotherhood Talks: The role of the Sustainable Development Goals
2019August
27 National Housing Conference