CHP eNews 2017
14 December 2017
Women’s requests for assistance increasing at twice the rate of men’s
Contrary to the stereotype of the older homeless man, new data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that the person most likely to seek homelessness help in Victoria is a 25-34-year-old woman, most probably with a child in tow.
The number of Victorian women seeking homelessness help has jumped 23% since 2012-13 and is rising twice as fast as men, who recorded a 12% increase over the same period.
Victoria’s housing affordability crisis is much to blame, with women finding it much harder to find affordable rentals due to gender issues such as the wage gap, low single parent benefits, and compounding factors of family violence
Read more about rising women’s homelessness in our blog
19% jump in Victorians seeking homelessness help, as impact of housing crisis takes hold
The new data also shows that the number of Victorians seeking help from homelessness organisations last financial year jumped to 109,901, a 19% rise over four years. 1 in 55 Victorians now seek homelessness assistance, with a quarter turned away due to lack of housing, staff and resources.
The high number of people being turned away is a clear sign of just how overwhelmed homelessness services are.
While the Victorian Government has recently made new investments in social housing and homelessness programs, these have come after years of neglect, and in a context in which the cost of renting keeps rising faster than incomes, pushing a constant and increasing flow of people into homelessness. Despite thousands more people lining up at agency doors every year, federal homelessness funding to the states has flatlined.
In our 2018-19 Budget Submission, the Council to Homeless Persons is calling on the government to build 14,500 new social housing properties over the next five years, tripling the current plans.
Read more about in our media release
The AIHW release shows that the number of Australians seeking help from homelessness organisations last financial year has also grown – jumping to 288,273, a 19% rise over four years. That figure that represents 1 in 84 Australians.
Homelessness Australia lays the blame squarely on Australia’s housing crisis, with the waiting list for social housing having blown out to 200,000 and rising rents in the private rental market pushing low-income earners into rooming houses, motels and caravans.
Nationally, 261 people per day were turned away from help last year (1-in-4 clients), which Homelessness Australia says is a symptom of homelessness services stretched so thin that they must focus only on the most critical clients while pushing others to the back of the line.
“Despite thousands more people lining up at agency doors every year, Federal homelessness funding to the States has not increased in real terms. The Federal Government is asleep at the wheel while we’re left bucketing water on the Titanic,” said Jenny Smith, Chair, Homelessness Australia
Read more from Homelessness Australia
How budget gains from stamp duty should be used to mitigate the housing crisis
Right now, over 20,000 Victorians have no home.
But skyrocketing house prices have meant that stamp duty revenue in Victoria from house price sales has increased from $3.8 billion to $6.2 billion in over the past five years?
The Council to Homeless Persons thinks the Government should reinvest a portion of these housing tax dollars back into social housing delivery, to mitigate the pain that the housing crisis has caused, and stem the tide of homelessness in Victoria.
The latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI) has told us more emphatically what we already know; that if you are very poor, the private rental market has nothing for you. So what’s the answer? We need Government to boost the supply of low-cost housing that is dedicated to low-income earners.
Our 2018-19 State Budget submission calls on the State Government to build and acquire 14,500 new social housing dwellings in Melbourne and key regional centres over the next five years – three times the Government’s current growth pipeline.
We’re also calling on the Federal Government to invest more to grow social housing.
The good news is that the Victorian Government can afford the further investment, with tax revenue from stamp duty having nearly doubled over the past five years to $6.2 billion a year. We think that the windfall gains to the budget from skyrocketing house prices should be used to mitigate the pain that the housing crisis has caused.
Read the full Rental Affordability Index
Read CHP’s State Budget Submission
Watch the full story here:
New National Housing and Homelessness Agreement creates a risk of cuts – Submissions due
The Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017, introduced into Parliament in late October, has been referred to a Senate Committee for Review, with submissions due on Monday 18 December
The Bill aims to enact the Government’s commitment to roll the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) together, but creates a risk of funding cuts to housing and homelessness services.
We encourage you to make a submission, and have included our CHP submission here for your reference. Please feel free to borrow from this submission, or if you are unable to prepare one by Monday, to write to the Committee endorsing our submission.The submission can be lodged to the committee here.
Concerns with the Bill
- The Bill will terminate the guaranteed ongoing funding provided in the NAHA on 1 July 2018, and replace it with a conditional funding arrangement. If negotiations are not complete by 30 June 2018, funding will cease until the Victoria signs up to the Federal Government’s conditions, which can include ‘any matters’ included in the Agreement.
- The Federal Government can withhold funding if targets and conditions imposed in the Agreement are not met. This will result in considerable funding uncertainty and a risk of cuts.
- The Bill also broadens the scope of funding priorities to include ‘housing affordability’ more broadly, but there are no new resources. This will necessitate resources being moved from homelessness and social housing to less vulnerable cohorts (like low cost home ownership).
You can see the statement and sign the petition here
Welfare Reform Bill postponed
The controversial Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 has hit a snag in the Senate and will now be delayed for several months.
Last week it was announced that drug testing trials of welfare recipients had been removed from the bill but, the bill still contains various cuts that would hit vulnerable Australians hard. These include changes to the Energy Supplement, job-seeking allowances for over 55’s and to the Bereavement Allowance.
Earlier this year the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) released a joint statement urging the rejection of the bill signed by over 40 community organisations.
You can see the statement and sign the petition here
Pathways Innovation Fund – Applications open
Got an innovative solution to homelessness? Does your organisation have a new and creative idea that will help people experiencing homelessness in the City of Melbourne? The Pathways Innovation Fund is now open with $1.2 million in funding available to support projects which will make an enduring difference to homelessness in the city.
Delivered in partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, the Fund is a key initiative of the City of Melbourne’s Pathways Innovation Package, which comprises a suite of programs to address homelessness, including assertive outreach, safe nighttime spaces, and support for businesses.
For further information, including eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Pathways Innovation Fund page on the City of Melbourne website or contact Kerry Hylton, Senior Project Coordinator on: 9658 9658. Applications close on Monday 8 January 2018.
See you in the new year!
The Board and Staff at CHP wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season. We look forward to working with you towards our shared goal of ending homelessness in 2018
Our office will be closed from Monday 25 December 2017 and will re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
If you need homelessness assistance call 1800 825 955 at any time to speak with a housing and support worker.
The SHS Transition Survey has arrived
CHP has been funded by government to develop a Specialist Homelessness Sector (SHS) Industry Transition Plan in partnership with the sector. This type of government support for the development of our sector is both important and appreciated. This is an excellent opportunity for us to consider how to further build on the great work that is already being done. This survey will help to create a robust and effective Industry Transition Plan.
Complete the survey now
We encourage everyone within the homelessness and allied sectors to take the time to complete this short survey.
Anyone who completes the survey also has the chance to enter to win a $200 gift card
Spread the joy – Free Xmas meal services
As we do every year, we have compiled a list of Victorian meal services operating on or around Christmas Day that are available to people experiencing homelessness or feeling isolated. Please feel free to share this list around with your networks.
If your organisation is hosting a meal service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include you on the list.
Tell us what you think
At CHP we do a lot of communication with our members and networks and we want to be sure that the information we provide, and the way that we provide it, serve you in the best possible way.
This 5-minute survey will help us understand how we can better communicate with people and organisations in the homelessness sector.
There’s also a chance to win a $100 gift card from Readings
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Belinda.
2018 PESP recruitment – applications now open
A chance for consumers to improve the homelessness system
Have you experienced homelessness and want to help improve the homelessness service system? Do you know someone who fits that description?
Applications are now open to become a Peer Education and Support Program team member. Members commit to being involved for two years, during which time they take part in focus groups, media activities, public speaking, and consulting with services and government.
Team members receive training and ongoing support and, are reimbursed for their time.
Please contact PESP Team Leader Cassandra Bawden for more information.To display a PESP application flyer for your clients, download one here
Applications close: January 17, 2018
Department of Health and Human Services Update
The DHHS Human Services and Health Partnership Implementation Committee meeting’s November report is now available.
The report contains a summary of the key projects currently being undertaken by the Department of Health and Human Service and information on recent initiatives on housing and homelessness.
Read the report here
STREAT’s next Main Course Program is about to kick off!
Main Course includes:
- Weekly work experience and mentoring in one of our cafes or our production or a la carte kitchens, alongside our hospitality professionals
- A Certificate II in Kitchen Operations*
- Professional and personal development workshops
- Unique and exciting excursions
- Individual support and referral assistance
- Transition planning and employment opportunities… plus lots more!
When: 27 February 2018 – 27 June 2018
Where: 66 Cromwell St, Collingwood
Cost: The fee will vary according to individual circumstances
Places are limited, so get in quick!
Applications close 9 February 2018.
For more details, visit
or call Andrea or Craig on 9629 4222.
Aborigines Advancement League turns 60
The Aborigines Advancement League is celebrating 60 years of unconquerable and enduring leadership in the Aboriginal Community up on the 17th December.
The oldest Aboriginal organisation in Australia is marking this milestone with a community festival. The day is free and includes rides, entertainment, corroborees, food as well as performances by Isaiah, Kutcha Edwards, Archie Roach and more!
Download the event flyer
Make 2018 an informed year – Subscribe to Parity!
Here’s a link to the 2018 Parity subscription form… do yourself a favour and subscribe to Australia’s only periodical publication dedicated to homelessness and housing issues.
Resources for frontline staff on accessing the NDIS
Some useful resources are now available for frontline staff on accessing the NDIS. Please share and circulate.
Research project seeks Indigenous participants
Researchers at Swinburne University are seeking people to participate in their research project: Preliminary investigation into experiences of housing stigma for Indigenous Australians.
The research will explore the need to improve management of accommodation and still recognise the cultural needs and preferences of community residents. Researchers are looking to interview, (within the next week or so) Indigenous Australians who live in public or community housing, as well as housing managers. Tenants will receive a Coles voucher for $30 to thank them for their participation, regardless of whether the interview is conducted face to face, by Skype, phone or email.
Interested participants should contact: Angie Spinney
Centre for Urban Transitions
Faculty of Health, Arts & Design
Swinburne University of Technology
Tel: 03 9214 5637
Mobile: 0405 736775
Parity – Call for contributions
The March 2018 “The Future of Women’s Refuges” edition of Parity is now open for contributions. The central role and function of women’s refuges in meeting the crisis accommodation and support needs of women and children escaping domestic and family violence is at the heart of this edition of Parity; the fundamental question here being: What is the future for women’s refuges?
Contributions close 9 March 2018. Download the flyer here
View this edition’s full list of articles and contributors here. Subscribe to Parity here.
In the news – in case you missed it!
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