CHP eNews 15 October 2014: No surprises here…housing stress and homelessness are linked


CHP eNews 2014

15 October 2014

Dear *|FNAME|*,

No surprises here… rental stress and homelessness linked
To mark Anti-Poverty Week, we’ve been asking What does it cost to be homeless?. We looked at the expenditure and income of typical case studies of people experiencing homelessness to show just how hard it is to afford to live when you’re homeless.
The cost of housing represents the greatest burden of all living expenses, even when people are living in rooming house. High numbers of people on low incomes who are in private rental arespending too much on rent, as reported in the Herald Sun last week. Our recent analysis of ABS data showed that 1-in-4 Victorians are in rental stress; on a low income of <$640pw and paying more than 30% on rent.
But here’s the clincher; when we looked at the 20 most rental stressed state electorates in Victoria we found that 15 of them are also in the top 20 worst electorates for homelessness (read our blog post about it).  This tells us what we already know – that if you’re on a low income and paying too much for housing, you’ll be struggling to make ends meet week-to-week, and also at risk of homelessness.  The affordable housing crisis isn’t going away, and we have yet to see a housing plan released by either of the major parties. With 44 days until the State election, we think it’s time that all parties showed their cards. Consider writing to your local candidate asking them to back our joint ‘Making Social Housing Work’ plan. Check out other ways you can get help get housing and homelessness on the political agenda.

Disadvantaged Australians face hardest climb out of homelessness: AIHW
A report from AIHW released last week found that those who are the most socially and economically disadvantaged have the poorest housing outcomes, even when supported by homelessness agencies. AIHW examined the housing outcomes of 94,000 clients who fall across four cohorts vulnerable to homelessness: those experiencing domestic and family violence, young people presenting alone, people with problematic drug and alcohol use and those with a current mental health issue.  The cohort who had the poorest housing outcomes were those with problematic drug and alcohol use.
AIHW found that people who have already fallen into homelessness require far more intensive support to regain housing and keep it. Those who presented homeless and became housed had the highest number of days of support.
This is further evidence for the benefits of rapid rehousing to prevent people falling deeper into the cycle of homelessness.  CHP’s state election platform calls for $118 million over 4 years to help 5,000 people each year to quickly find permanent housing (social or private) and provide time limited rental subsidies to help them maintain their tenancy.

Family violence and homelessness: context and facts
A recent CHP blog post explores community attitudes to family violence and how this relates to homelessness. A recent VicHealth survey on community attitudes towards violence against women showed that a staggering 20 percent of people thought that in some circumstances violence against a woman could be partially excused. In fact the survey showed that since 2009, respondents had become more accepting of violence against women. The relationship between family violence and homelessness is complex, as it is underpinned by many other non-housing related factors such as socioeconomic disadvantage and gender inequality. CHP's family violence fact sheet  gathers the relevant facts and stats in one place.

Presentations from 8th National Homelessness Conference now available online
You can access presentations from last month’s excellent conference from the Homelessness Australia website. Those who attended the conference may request a hard copy by emailing
A picture gallery of the conference can be viewed here.

Your feedback sought on minimum child safety standards
 As part of its response to the report of the Family and Community Development Committee of Parliament Inquiry into the handling of child abuse in religious and non-government organisations, Betrayal of Trust, the Victorian Government has committed to strengthen organisations’ approaches to preventing and responding to abuse, including through the introduction of minimum child safe standards. The Victorian Government and the Commission for Children and Young People are currently consulting on the introduction of minimum child safe standards and capacity-building for organisations. The consultation paper can be accessed here, and you can provide feedback on the report by filling out this feedback form.
Please send your feedback via email by Wednesday 29 October 2014. For more information, contact (03) 9096 0684, The Government response to Betrayal of Trust can be found here.

Submit your abstract for the 2015 VAADA conference
VAADA is seeking abstracts for its 2015 conference Evolution: Innovation and reflection in Victoria’s alcohol and other drug sector, which will be held in Melbourne in February 2015. Submissions close on 20 October.

  • What kinds of innovations has your organisation developed in response to the changes within the sector?
  • Are you involved in an exciting collaboration with another organisation aimed at improving outcomes for people affected by AOD related issues?
  • Are you undertaking any AOD research or developing a new program? How will your findings be used in practice or policy?
  •  Do you have a lived experience of AOD use? How has it shaped your views on treatment or policy?

Go to to submit your abstract or contact the conference coordinator, Anna Guthrie for more information.
National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference
The National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference 2014 aims to ensure that the needs of older LGBTI people are understood, respected and addressed in Australia’s aged care policies, programs and services. Conference presentations will assist service providers understand LGBTI ageing and strategies for LGBTI inclusive aged care.
Date: Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 October
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall
More information available here.

6th Annual Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium
Date: 12-14 November 2014
Location: Albury, Victoria.

The number of Australians experiencing mental health problems in rural and remote areas is estimated to be comparable to major urban centres. However, the rural and remote community faces a greater challenge with limited access to mental health services and support. The Symposium theme, The Practitioner's Voice, seeks to give voice to those practitioners who are faced with these challenges on a regular basis. For more information click here, or contact the Symposium Secretariat, Sarah Jones on (61 7) 5502 2068.

Australasian Housing Researchers Conference 2015
Hosted by the AHURI Research Centre, the Australasian Housing Researchers is open to all researchers concerned with housing affordability and homelessness, housing policy and planning, housing economics, housing sustainability, and regional, national and international housing markets.
Date: 18-20 February 2015
Location: University of Tasmania, Hobart
More info here.

VAADA conference ‘Evolution: Innovation and reflection in Victoria’s alcohol and other drug sector’
Date: 19-20 February 2015
Location: Catholic Leadership Centre, 576 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne
Registrations and more info:

In case you missed the news!
ABC News Recent job losses could lead to more homelessness in Geelong Tuesday 14 October
ABC News Vic Union hopes to be a voice for the homeless Friday 10 October
The Age Mentally ill may not lose disability pension under McClure review Wednesday 15 October
Wyndham Leader Rent prices hit hard Tuesday 14 October
Herald Sun online / Wyndham Leader New rental stats in the Werribee area call for increase in social housing stock Tuesday 14 October
Knox Leader Squeeze on housing Tuesday 14 October
Dandenong Leader Rental squeeze tightens Monday 13 October
Brimbank Leader Renters struggle revealed Tuesday 14 October
Herald Sun Vulnerable households in outer suburbs under stress as rents rise Wednesday 8 October




CHP Updates 

You have two more weeks… to complete CHP's Professional Development Survey 2014
We are still keen to get more responses to our Professional Development Survey so have extended the closing date until 31 October. The results will help us to inform government and training providers on future directions.  The survey takes 5-10 minutes and responses are anonymous.
Click here to complete the survey now. For more information, contact Trish Westmore, CHP’s Capacity Building and Policy Officer on 8415 6207 or  email Trish

CHP event: Facilitating access and supporting treatment: The role of homelessness workers in the new mental health and AOD sectors
There have been significant changes to both the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug sectors this year. Making sure people experiencing homelessness can get the assistance they need within these new systems is critical. This forum will bring SHS workers together with representatives from Mental Health and AOD organisations to discuss how best to support clients accessing, waiting for, or receiving support and treatment.
Date: 9 December 2014
Venue: The Main Hall, St Michaels Uniting Church, 120 Collins St Melbourne
Registrations: Eventbrite
More info: Trish Westmore  

SAVE THE DATE! CHP’s Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 19 November 2014
In the lead-up to the Annual General Meeting, nominations to the Board of Directors of Council to Homeless Persons are being accepted. If you wish to nominate, please complete the forms below and return them to Lynette Deakes at by 5:00pm Friday 17 October 2014. 
Further information can be found in the:

Call for contributions: November 2014 'Living in Limbo: Asylum seekers and homelessness'

Many asylum seekers on bridging visas living in the community who are waiting until their asylum claims are resolved have little or no access to financial support and assistance. Many are without family or community support and are as a result either homeless or at risk of homelessness. In recent years specialist homelessness services have been seeing increasing numbers of asylum seekers who have sought housing and other forms of assistance. This edition of Parity is devoted to examining the homelessness experienced by asylum seekers and in particular the program and service responses to these issues.
Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of Friday 14 November.
Contribution details can be found here.

PESP Update
Jacqui was recently filmed for an RMIT project called The Full Picture which takes interviews with people experiencing homelessness and melds them with artist' interpretations of their photographs. The video featuring Jacqui was made by an Archibald Finalist in this year's prize and is moving in the way it breaks down stereotypes of homelessness.
Joal undertook her first Homelessness Experience tour. The group co-ordinator said, "Joal came across as articulate and confident even though I knew she was nervous. Her story is real, yet inspirational. Her honesty and tenacity are refreshing."


Wodonga Institute of TAFE has released their SHS training calendar for August-December 2014. Wodonga Institute of TAFE are the key provider of training to the Specialist Homelessness Sector offering a range of tailored low cost training programs. Download the calendar here.

CHRIP Effective Advocacy Training Program session: Cultural Literacy Training – Working With Immigrant and Refugee Women
The Centre for the Human Rights of Imprisoned People (CHRIP), a project of Flat Out is running its 5th annual Effective Advocacy Training Calendar. This Cultural Literacy Training session will help participants understand culture, intersectionality, power and privilege, provide an overview of migration and settlement issues for immigrant and refugee women and look at best practice principles for working with these people.
Trainers: Dr. Regina Quiazon, Senior Research and Policy Advocate, and Maria Hach, National Training Officer, at The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
Date: Friday 24 October
Time:  9:30am-4:30pm
Cost: $25/$40
Venue: Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE) 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne
Registration: Download the full calendar and registration form here.

Trauma informed practice for managers & leaders
Presented by experienced trauma specialist, Patrick Tomlinson, this session is designed to address the challenges faced by managers and leaders who work in organisations that support vulnerable or traumatised people. It takes an in-depth look at the best processes and practices for creating a whole-organisational environment to support the therapeutic task.
Date: 23-24 October 2014
Venue: Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, Bell St, Preston
Cost: $300
Registrations and more info on the Lighthouse Institute website.

Working with the impacts of sexual assault
This interactive workshop will extend the skills and confidence of those working with victim/survivors of sexual assault. Participants will actively engage with concepts and strategies consistent with a socio-political understanding of sexual assault. The workshop will strengthen theoretical foundations and practical responses to the trauma of sexual assault. Completion of Responding to Sexual Assault is a prerequisite for this workshop.
Date: Wednesday 29 October
Location: Melbourne CBD, Victoria.
For more information and to register click here, or telephone CASA House on 9635 3600.

Mental health first aid with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders
This training offered by Connecting Home, and covers social and emotional wellbeing, anxiety, substance use, depression, psychosis, suicide and strategies to deal with mental health crises.
Date: 21 & 28 October 2014 (2 day course)
Venue: Connecting Home, 14 Gipps Street, Collingwood
Cost: $275.00 + GST (Certificate/manual/resources included)
To book contact AJ Williams‐Tchen on 0434049764 or email:

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