CHP eNews 2017
26 January 2017
Moving on the homeless will not make them disappear
Following a campaign by some media outlets over the last week to shame and blame people sleeping rough around Flinders Street station, CHP coordinated a quick response. The joint media statement undersigned by the CEOs of 36 services, appealed for a renewed focus on the lack of action on housing affordability. This recent article in VCOSS’ Insight magazine provides food for thought on media reporting of homelessness.
Initial reports that the Council plans to introduce new by-laws to make it illegal to sleep or sit on the streets were subsequently clarified at a City of Melbourne meeting with some sector CEOs, at which the Lord Mayor indicated a review of bylaws would be focussed on powers to remove structures and bedding.
Report on Government Services shows a system under stress
The latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) has confirmed that homelessness services in Victoria and Australia are under severe pressure; 33% of clients seeking accommodation were not provided with it, which is a 1.2% increase on the previous year and 4.3% above the national average. Proportionately, Victoria also spent the lowest amount of any state on administration (98.7%). The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments spent a total of $226.5m on homelessness services, compared with $216m in the previous year.
Get the facts on homelessness via #CHPfacts
If you haven’t been on Twitter recently, you may have missed CHP’s hashtag! By searching for #CHPfacts on Twitter you can find information we share on statistics, stories and more. You can also follow CHP on Twitter @CHPVic.
Public and Proud!
The Victorian Public Tenants Association are sharing stories of the thousands of vibrant members of our community who live in public housing. In Victoria there are 127,000 who call public housing home, and many past residents who are wonderful members of our society, including best selling author Zadie Smith! Read more stories here.
CHP Blog – homelessness must be solved using houses
As homelessness rises and becomes more visible, there has also been an increase in people suggesting alternate style dwellings to address the housing shortage. Although all of the ideas are well-intentioned, many are not appropriate We have put together this piece about why proper housing should be the priority for our community.
Your feedback sought on how to make #FairerSaferHousing
The Victorian Government is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the Residential Tenancies Act. This process has been underway for many months, and is nearer completion. On 7 January, an options paper was released and is available here.
CHP has been heavily involved in the process to date, and will continue to represent the needs of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the next stages of the review.
Our initial analysis shows that there are some very positive measures included in the options paper around:
- Protections for those who have experienced family violence
- Minimums standards for housing quality (including heating, structural integrity, and mould)
- Removal of some rooming house tenancy breach provisions, to ensure tenants can actually control circumstances that may lead to eviction
Areas where advocacy is required involve:
- Tenants’ rights to keep pets
- The ability of landlords to include rules in leases beyond the scope of the act
We encourage any interested individuals and organisations to provide responses to the options paper, due by Friday 10 February.
Tenants Union of Victoria – Fairer Safer Housing Review scorecards
If you would like to see how the Tenants Union of Victoria is going with its review of the RTA, you can see scorecards they have created here.
Harvard Club of Victoria – NFP Opportunity in Boston
Each year the Harvard Club of Victoria’s Non-Profit Fellowship Program makes it possible for the CEOs of up to three non-proft community sector organisations to attend the week-long course Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management at the Harvard Business School. For more information on applying visit the website.
Mission Australia – Reconnect Evaluation
Mission Australia’s evaluation of it’s Reconnect program, which helps prevent young people becoming homeless, has found that the program has had significant positive impacts on participants lives. They are recommending funding of the program for a further five years. Read the report here.
Children and homelessness
CHP likes to share information on new research or great resources as part of our eNews. The website homelesskidscount.org isn’t new, but it really is great! With a wide range of information on how to address homelessness for children, dedicated resources for different sub-populations such as CALD kids experiencing homelessness, information on homelessness and childhood development, worker tools and links to training, this website is definitely worth having a click through! Thanks so much to the North and West Regional Children’s Resouce Program and Merri Outreach for making it available.
Productivity Commission Reform of Human Services Issues Paper
Another ongoing review, this time at the Federal level is the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Reform of Human Services. CHP has provided responses at previous stages of the inquiry (available here and here).
With ‘Family and Community Services’ identified as suitable for reform through previous stages in the inquiry, CHP will provide further advice to the Productivity Commission to ensure the best outcomes for those experiencing homelessness, and specialist homelessness services.
Submissions on the issues paper are due on Friday 10 February. More information is available here.
Open Canvas – a social enterprise empowering homeless artists
Open Canvas is a new Melbourne-based social enterprise which helps artists who have experienced homelessness, a disability and other adversities to exhibit and sell their art. The Open Canvas website, www.opencanvas.com.au, has original art for sale and art-related merchandise such as phone covers, tea towels, puzzles, posters and greeting cards. Open Canvas is holding its inaugural exhibition, Between the Lines, from 7 -18 February 2017 at fortyfivedownstairs gallery, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Guests are welcome to attend the opening function from 5-7pm on 7 February. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Canvas welcomes enquiries from artists and their support networks, including case workers and art therapists.
What’s on? CHP’s top picks for events and training:
Visit CHP’s what’s on page for more events and information.