CHP eNews 26 February: Moving on the homeless will not make them disappear



CHP eNews 2017

26 January 2017

Dear *|FNAME|*,
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 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,, 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 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. 

CHP Updates

Calls for contributions
You are invited to contribute an article to the March edition of Parity “I shall be released: Post-release and homelessness”. Contributions must be submitted by 3 March 2017. Download the contributions flier for more details or contact Parity editor Noel.

VAADA conference: Complexity, collaboration, consumers and care
The VAADA conference will provide practitioners and other stakeholders in the AOD sector with the opportunity to take stock, showcase best practice and reflect on strategies which highlight the depth, maturity and competence of the AOD sector. VAADA is now making a call for abstracts.  If you are interested please follow the link here for information and the online abstract form.
Date: 16-17 February 2017

Understanding Homelessness Training
Presented by members of the Council to Homeless Persons’ Peer Education Support
Program (PESP), all of who have a lived experience of homelessness. This training is designed for volunteers, new staff of homelessness services and organisations from outside the homelessness sector (e.g. local council, volunteers, social enterprises). It provides a comprehensive overview of key homelessness issues from the perspective of individuals who have lived it. Download the flier.
Date: 7 February 2017
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Venue: CHP, 2 Stanley St, Collingwood
To register please contact Cassandra Bawden, or (03) 8415 6210. 
A Three-Phased Approach – Working Therapeutically with Complex Trauma Clients
Workshops the three-phases of working clinically with complex trauma clients, and fosters insights, tools and strategies for safe therapeutic alliances, informed by best practice principles.
More information online.
Date: Mon & Tue, 27 & 28 February 2017, Melbourne – from $554
How to better support tenants experiencing housing crisis due to family violence
The Tenants Union of Victoria are offering free training on better supporting tenants experiencing a housing crisis as a result of family violence.
Date: Thursday 9 March 2017
Time:        9.30am to 12.30pm
Venue:     Sunshine (details to be advised)
Using the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) in conjunction with the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (FVPA), the training will examine how to provide support and protection for tenants that may, due to family violence issues. See the flyer for further details.
In the news – in case you missed it!

Unsubscribe  I  Update your profile  I  Forward this to a colleague
© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic