CHP eNews 18 May: Now is the worse time to be a renter if you’re poor



CHP eNews 2017

18 May 2017

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Low-income renters have a choice: Unaffordable or Severely Unaffordable rents!
The latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI) shows that a single parent on a low income can rent in just seven Melbourne suburbs to avoid ‘Severely Unaffordable’ rents, though even in these locations they would still be experiencing rental stress. The map below shows just how unaffordable it is for a single parent household earning $38,000 p.a. from part-time work plus Centrelink income looking to rent a 2-bedroom property. Red signifies ‘Extremely unaffordable’, dark orange ‘Severely unaffordable’ and light orange ‘Unaffordable’. Even some areas of regional Victoria are out of reach for a low-income single parent households.

The RAI, produced by National Shelter, SGS Economics and Community Sector Banking, tracks rental affordability relative to household income.

Federal Budget fails to deliver big-picture solutions to homelessness
Last week Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered the Budget 2017-18. It included some wins, with the Federal Government maintaining the existing levels of homelessness funding delivered under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) and the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), and increased the certainty of that funding. Also welcome was the commitment to a bond aggregator, which will reduce the cost of borrowing for community housing providers, though not address the subsidy needed for providers to house people on the lowest incomes.

We expressed concern that the additional investment needed to cope with the demand crisis was missing. We also expressed concern at the alarming proposals to cut off Newstart payments to drug users and those who skip Centrelink appointments, and to decline the Disability Support Pension to people with disability that is deemed to be a result of addiction. We highlighted how these measures would fast track vulnerable people into homelessness in this ABC TV story.

Watch this video of Jenny Smith giving a Budget reaction on behalf of Homelessness Australia. We’ve also undertaken a deep analysis of the Federal Budget papers to see what came out in the wash for homelessness and housing.

For those that are still catching up on the State Budget, don’t forget to check out our easy-to-read matrix What is in the Budget for housing and homelessness?

#MakeRentingFair trends at official campaign launch 
The official launch of the Make Renting Fair campaign on Monday saw a full turnout of organisational supporters and speakers keen to influence the outcome of the Residential Tenancies Act Review. Social media was abuzz, and the #MakeRentingFair hashtag trended on Twitter for part of the day.     

Speakers at the launch represented some of Victoria’s most vulnerable tenants including low-income earners, people from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and older tenants. CHP’s own Damien Patterson highlighted the ways in which proposed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act – which include same-day eviction for past conduct and broader definitions of anti-social behavior – would give excessive powers to landlords and leave disadvantaged tenants more vulnerable. You can read our blog post Five proposed changes to rental laws that will lead to more homelessness here.

In an article in the Herald Sun, TUV and CHP pointed out that many of the reform options would be a ‘disaster’ for low-income earners and lead to an ‘immediate increase in people turning up to homelessness services.’

As the Victorian State Government undergoes its review of the Residential Tenancies Act, we encourage you to share and sign the Make Renting Fair petition and to email your local MP.   

International Day against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia #IDAHOT 
The 17 May marks the International Day against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia or #IDAHOBIT. 
While rigorous data on LGBTI experiences of homelessness is lacking, the 2014 ABS General Social Survey found that LGBT people experience greater rates of homelessness than heterosexual people, with 20.8% of bisexual people and 33.7% of lesbian/gay people having ever been homeless, compared to 13.7% of heterosexuals. It’s also known that family rejection is a leading driver of LGBTI homelessness and this is believed to lead to them having their first experiences of homelessness at a younger age than the general population. 

Stage 1 of the GALFA LGBTI Homelessness Research Project, released in January of this year, noted that shortcomings in data collection around LGBTI homelessness is a barrier to effective homelessness service provision.  The Research Project’s recommendations included that data collection include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, and, mandatory LGBTI training for all homelessness services.   
To find out more about LGBTI homelessness, visit the GALFA Homeless project website  

Director of Housing update – Homes for Victorians social housing and homelessness Industry Engagement Plan
The release of Homes for Victorians’ $799 million in additional homeless and housing support and  $2.1 billion in financial instruments has provided a significant opportunity to shape and grow social housing and homeless assistance in Victoria. The State Government will work collaboratively with the community housing and homelessness service sectors, private industry and local government to plan and deliver new products and approaches aimed at helping those most in need.
DHHS has produced a plan provides an indicative guide to engagement opportunities for the various different initiatives.

Homelessness Week 2017  

Homelessness Week 2017 will be held from the 7-13 of August. The event represents an opportunity for us to highlight the work of the sector, recognise barriers to ending homelessness in Victoria and most importantly, to recognise our consumers. CHP is encouraging agencies and complementary services to host an event in the week prior to Homeless Persons Week, to leverage a pre-Parliamentary sitting week. Inviting your local MP to an event prior to a parliamentary sitting week is an effective way to inform public debate about homelessness. Homelessness Week is a chance to celebrate our clients but and inform our local MPs and media about what is needed to end homelessness where we live and work.

If you would like to discuss hosting an event contact Damien, or for tips to get your local media along contact Lanie.

Extension! Family Violence workforce Census open until 19 May
The Victorian Government is developing a 10-year Industry Plan as a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. To be effective this needs to be informed by a clearer picture of Victoria’s family violence workforce. The family violence workforce census has been designed to gather information about all staff who play a role in preventing and responding to family violence in Victoria.

We urge you to participate. Click here to learn more and complete online. Participation is voluntary and you won’t be asked for your name. The census is open until 19 May.


CHP’s top picks

Visit CHP’s what’s on page for more events and information. 

CHP Updates

Parity Launch – I Shall be Released: Post-Release and Homelessness
You are invited to join us for the launch of the Post-Release and Homelessness edition of Parity. The Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass will launch the edition.

RSVP via EventBrite.

Conferences and events

CHP Conference 13-14 September

We are excited to announce that this year’s Victorian homelessness conference will have a dedicated youth homelessness stream alongside the generalist homelessness program. This is the result of Melbourne City Mission partnering with CHP to run the annual Family Reconciliation and Mediation Program conference as part of the CHP conference. More details to come, but be assured that this year’s conference will be a very special one. Please put the dates in your calendar.

The keynote speaker: Professor Eoin O’Sullivan from Trinity College Dublin is a leading academic on homelessness in Europe, and editor of the European Journal on Homelessness. You can listen to Prof. O’Sullivan talk in this video about the Irish homelessness crisis, which has so many parallels with what we are seeing in Australia.  

Registrations will open soon, subscribe to conference updates here

AHURI National Housing Conference
Register via EventBrite

The Hidden Others Short Film Competition
The Hidden Others youth homelessness film competition is for young people aged 12-24 years to create a short film on the issue of youth homelessness. It aims to raise community awareness and provide an opportunity for young people to take action whilst learning more about filmmaking. For further information, visit the Hidden Others Website, check out their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram at #hiddenothers
Entries close
: Monday 31 July


Download the Wodonga TAFE SHS Training Calendar

Advanced Supervision
Date: 29th May 
Location: Melbourne CBD

Making your numbers Count: Using Data effectively
Date: 30th May
Location: Melbourne CBD

Working with Vulnerable Families
Date: 31 May 

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© 2017 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
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