CHP eNews 2017
20 April 2017
Treasurer Morrison focused on housing affordability, but not yet talking effective solutions
On 10 April, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered a pre-budget address on housing affordability. He outlined the breadth of the challenges of the housing crisis, including lack of affordability for renters, inadequate availability of social and affordable housing, increasing homelessness and the high cost of home ownership. Unfortunately this comprehensive analysis of the problem was followed by piecemeal proposals as well as underlining the criticism of the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
In this Opinion piece in The Age, Jenny Smith (CEO CHP) outlined our concern that the solutions needed include investment to increase the availability of public or community housing, as well as substantial reform of negative gearing and capital gains tax.
Federal campaign to save funding for public and community housing and homelessness
Jenny (as Chair of Homelessness Australia) participated in a recent Roundtable with the Treasurer on housing affordability convened by ACOSS and other partners. In this forum, Jenny and other advocates communicated the importance of increasing public and community housing as part of any broader housing affordability strategy.
CHP is also actively supporting the national campaign effort to encourage the Federal Government to preserve, and increase, the resources for public and community housing, and homelessness services in the National Affordable Housing Agreement. This has had fabulous support from the sector with the most recent action encouraging direct emails to local MPs and Treasurer Morrison resulting in over 1,600 emails sent.
If you’re not already an organisational supporter of this campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join, and watch out for next week’s pre-budget campaign action.
Homelessness Australia releases 10-point strategy to turn around the crisis
In advance of Treasurer Morrison’s national housing address Homelessness Australia unveiled its National Homelessness Strategy, urging the Federal Government to adopt recommendations in 10 key areas.
The recommendations include the development of a new National Affordable Housing and Homelessness Strategy, investment in more short and medium-term accommodation options, renewed efforts to “close the homelessness gap” for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, action on negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, and expanded investment in public and community housing.
Family Violence workforce Census
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 strongly encourage 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 from 10 April to 5 May.
Homeless bylaws – alternative Framework presented to Council
On Thursday 6 April, representatives from an alliance of 54 CEOs came together at Melbourne Town Hall to deliver an alternative Framework for addressing homelessness in the CBD that does not involve laws that criminalise rough sleeping. A video of the delegation can be viewed here.
The activity attracted good media attention, with coverage in the Herald Sun, ABC RN, Triple J Hack, 774, 3AW and Huffington Post.
The alliance has since been invited to meet with the Lord Mayor, and is also securing meetings with individual Councillors. City of Melbourne Councillors will vote on the bylaws at the end of May.
You Can’t Ask That
We are delighted that the latest ABC’s You Can’t Ask That series includes a program dedicated entirely to people who have experienced homelessness. We’re even more delighted that they chose to feature two of our PESP graduates, Vicky and Erika. For those who aren’t familiar with the program, You Can’t Ask That asks groups of misunderstood, judged or marginalised Australians the awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions many people feel reluctant to ask.
You can check out the series trailer here: You Can’t Ask That and watch the full 30-minute program here.
Rooming house operators licensing scheme – update
The new Rooming House Operators Act comes into effect on 26 April, requiring all existing operators to be licensed by 24 August. This new regulation is one that CHP has long called for, and something to be celebrated.
Those applying for a rooming house license must now satisfy a ‘fit and proper test’, including a criminal history check, a financial history check, and checks against various offences. Operators who opt to close their rooming house rather than apply for a license have been advised to issue an appropriate notice to vacate by 26 April.
Obviously there are significant implications for homelessness services should a number of rooming houses close their doors. We ask you to let CHP know if they are aware of clients being given notice to vacate due to rooming house closures by emailing Damien.
Consumer Affairs Victoria recently conducted a series of information sessions for the sector, and the full presentation is available here.
Financial support packages for LGBTI people experiencing Family Violence
Victims of family violence can now access support packages to assist with financial and practical support needs in order to leave abusive relationships or heal after leaving one. The Victorian Aids Council (VAC) have specific funding to support LGBTIQ individuals and are talking referrals for this program. Up to $7000 in support is available for people to pay for access to safe and sustainable housing, relocation costs, purchasing household goods, medical bills, school fees, counseling and reconnecting with family Contact VAC on 9865 6700 for any referrals.
Housing, homelessness and mental health – consultation
Housing is a critical foundation for an individual’s journey to recovery. One of the five domains in the National Mental Health Commission’s Contributing Life Framework is “feeling safe, stable and secure”.
The Commission is undertaking a consultation process from 27 March to 24 April 2017 focused on the connections between housing, homelessness and mental health. The consultation process aims to better understand and develop a national view of housing issues in relation to mental health and hear examples of local initiatives.
Consumers, carers, families and support people are invited to share housing and homelessness experiences in relation to mental health through an online consultation until 24 April.
Public housing properties earmarked for upgrade
The Victorian Government has announced it will upgrade more than 200 public housing properties in Churchill, Moe, Morwell, Newborough, Sale, Traralgon and Wurruk. The upgrades will start in July this year and are expected to be completed by 2020. Read the media release.
CHP’s top pick
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