22 February 2018
Number of wage earners seeking homelessness help skyrockets
More and more wage-earning Australians are turning to homelessness services as the cost of housing catapults and wages stagnate, a CHP analysis of AIHW data has found
Over 8,000 people in Victoria who are holding down jobs required homelessness help last financial year. In three years there has been a nearly 30% jump in the number of Victorian wage-earners who find themselves homeless, or on the brink.
Nationally, over 20,000 working Australians sought help from homelessness services – also an increase of nearly 30% in three years.
The Reserve Bank’s Wage Price Index, released yesterday, shows that wages have grown 2.1% over the last 12 months, well behind the 3.4% increase in the cost of housing over the same period.
What’s the result? More people are finding themselves unable to keep a roof over their head.
CHP says that the collision of low wages and high housing costs is causing more homelessness and that more low-cost housing is needed to keep people from ending up on the street.
“Women, in particular, are affected because they’re more likely to be in low-paid professions or part-time,” said Kate Colvin, Acting CEO.
“We are calling on the State Government to accelerate its investment in social housing so that Victorians at risk of or facing homelessness can be swiftly housed.
“Increasing house prices have delivered a stamp duty windfall in Victoria, which provides the funds to reinvest back into affordable housing options.”
Read our media release
State Election 2018: What do we want, and how do we get it?
Just like the winter Olympics, a Victorian election is held every four years and just like the Olympics – you’ve got to be in it to win it.
With the political parties getting ready to announce their plans for Victoria over the next term of government, it is critical that housing and homelessness are central to these visions.
As your peak body for homelessness, CHP wants to work with everyone with an interest in ending homelessness to develop a sector platform that we can all work together to support. The ultimate aim is to get Victoria’s political parties to commit to the solutions we need to end homelessness.
In preparation, CHP is hitting the road, running a series of joint training and consultation sessions across the state, and we want you to be involved.
Sign up here for events in:
These events are your opportunity to hone the skills you’ll need to get positive change from our politicians. We’ll be working hard all year to get you everything you need to influence the future of homelessness policy in Victoria, so continue to stay tuned to eNews to stay up to date on what the sector is doing
Express your concerns over the Welfare Reform Bill
A united campaign of action in the first week of February from homelessness and housing groups saw hundreds of calls and emails to the Nick Xenophon Team office calling for them to re-think their position on the proposed changes
to Welfare payments. A meeting was secured with Rebekha Sharkie, leader of the NXT, and representatives of the sector were able to outline our concerns about how the welfare reform proposals would affect those already living in the margins.
The Bill has not yet been stopped, but its tabling in Parliament has been delayed while further negotiations are underway.
There’s still time to voice your concerns
Please write today to explain the impact on your clients and your service of:
– having more people needing help who have no income or reduced first payments, and
– having more complex clients with drug and alcohol issues who face additional hurdles to maintaining their payment, and who are likely to be cut off for four week periods.
You can send an email to the Nick Xenophon Team (addresses below) whose votes will ultimately decide whether or not the Welfare Reform Bill passes:
Members Portal goes live
CHP’s Members Portal is set to go live in the coming days. CHP organisational members and Parity subscribers will receive instructions in their inbox on how to activate their accounts.
If you’re a staff member of an organisation with CHP membership, keep an eye out for an email from your CEO with account activation instructions.
The portal will include the Parity magazine archive and will make easy to access a host of housing and homelessness resources.
Tenants Victoria has launched a petition asking the Victorian Government to push ahead with promised legislation to end the indiscriminate bans on pets in rental homes and, to deliver on other commitments made in the RentFair reforms.
The RentFair reforms, announced last year, promised to institute a suite of changes including:
- removing the 120 day ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate from the RTA,
- limiting the use of the ‘end of fixed-term’ notices to vacate,
- allowing tenants to make minor modifications
- giving tenants the right to keep pets
CHP supports these proposed reforms and encourages you to support the campaign. Many people face homelessness and difficulty regaining accommodation, because of their lack of rights around pet ownership.
You can sign the petition here and share the message with the hashtag #MakeRentingFair
Two wins in the fight against youth homelessness
Two important initiatives tackling youth homelessness have been announced within days of each other.
Last week the Tasmanian State Government announced that it will be extending the age of out-of-home care from 18 to 21, making Tasmania the first state to do so. The 16.7 million package announced by the Liberal Government will also include payments of $2,500 for the foster carer and the young person when they successfully complete Year 12.
The announcement has been warmly welcomed by the Home Stretch campaign and other youth and homelessness bodies. CEO of Anglicare Victoria Paul McDonald has said,
“The evidence tells us that extending care to 21 years will result in greater employment opportunities, increased educational participation and reduced homelessness for Tasmania’s young people”
Meanwhile, in Victoria, the Victorian Government has signed Australia’s largest ever Social Impact Bond, designed to help young people leaving out-of-home care make a successful transition from care to independence.
The program, named COMPASS, was developed in partnership with Anglicare Victoria and VincentCare Victoria. The program will be made available to 200 care leavers in Melbourne’s west, inner north and Bendigo over the next five years, providing them with secure housing and along with ongoing support from caseworkers.
More information on Victorian social impact bonds
New Grants To Boost Social Housing Stock
The Victorian Government has announced it will be providing grants of up to $200,000 for local governments to help build new social housing projects and to increase the supply of land available for social housing.
Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley announced the Social Housing Investment Planning (SHIP) last week, saying that the government is “seizing the opportunity to renew outdated and run down public housing estates, and these grants will help local councils add to our social housing stock.”
Construction of the first 22 apartments is expected to be completed in October
For more visit DHHS
Read the full press release
Homeless not Voteless
The Melbourne City Council Lord Mayor By-election has been announced and the enrolment deadline is 16 March.
Local councils play a critical role in addressing homelessness and as such, it’s important everyone in the City of Melbourne has access to the electoral process, regardless of their current living situation.
People who don’t have access to safe and secure housing can enrol to vote using a ‘no fixed address’ form. If they enrol using this form and do not vote in an election they will not be fined.
The Victorian Electoral Commissions Homeless not Voteless provides:
- enrolment outreach sessions for people accessing homelessness agencies
- information sessions for agency workers
- provision of special voting facilities in homelessness agencies in the lead up to the election
- ‘no fixed address’ enrolment forms, plus posters and Easy English information to display at your agency.
Services may also want to consider including a no fixed address enrolment form in client packs and distributing the VEC’s information for community agencies brochure to staff (see attached).
Book a session using the online form or contact Debra Taylor on 8620 1183.
Becoming a CHP member
is the most effective way to support Council to Homeless Persons’ work to end homelessness.
In the news – in case you missed it!
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
The April 2018 “Young People, Trauma and Homelessness” edition of Parity is now open for contributions. This edition of Parity will be devoted to examining the role and impact of the experience of trauma: as a cause of youth homelessness; its impact in and on the experience of youth homelessness and how our understandings of the role of trauma can assist and inform the work of those helping young people out of homelessness.
Contributions close 30 March 2018. Download the flyer here
Subscribe to Parity here.
Save the Date!
National Homelessness Conference 2018
AHURI and Homelessness Australia are partnering to convene a National Homelessness Conference 2018. The Conference will be the first major national conversation on homelessness since 2014 and will be held on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 August in Melbourne to coincide with the start of Homelessness Week 2018.
Further information will be announced in the coming weeks, but for now, we urge you to save the dates for this very important national event.
19th International Mental Health Conference
Hosted by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, the 19th International Mental Health Conference
continues to support and improve the quality of life for those working with or living with a mental illness.
The Conference creates a positive and collaborative learning environment with renowned speakers and seminars that tackle current (and sometimes controversial) topics and highlights Mental Health on a global stage.
When: 8 & 9 August (Workshop day 10 August)
Where: RACV Royal Pines, Gold Coast, Queensland
Women and pets: online survey participants sought for PhD projec
Are you a social worker working with women who have pets? Online survey participants are being sought for a PhD project at RMIT University,
‘Encountering interspecies homelessness: Social work with vulnerable groups and their companion animals’
You are welcome to participate if you are:
- A social worker (or other human services practitioner) currently working in Victoria, Australia,
- Employed in Domestic Violence/Family Violence AND/OR Housing/Homelessness
- Working with women who are companion animal (or pet) owners,
Access the survey here
There could also be an option for you to participate in face-to-face interviews.
More information: Melissa Laing.au, 0402 858 273.
PhD Scholarships available
PhD scholarships at Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Urban Transitions are available for people with a passion for understanding urban transitions, through in-depth research of housing, urban living and regenerating cities through sustainable planning and development.
Now open – disability advocacy sector capacity building fund grants
DHHS is calling for submissions for advocacy initiatives for people with a disability.
The Victorian Government is providing an additional $1.4 million to ensure Victorians with a disability (including diverse and isolated groups) and their families can access timely and targeted advocacy support when they need it.
Victorian-based advocacy groups and organisations that represent the needs and interests of diverse or isolated community groups are invited to apply for funding.
Advocacy forms a critical part of Victoria’s broader safeguarding system to uphold the rights of people with a disability and is a key priority of: Absolutely everyone: state disability plan 2017-2020.
Applications close 2 pm, 1 March 2018
MacKillop Family Services National Conference
Registrations to the MacKillop Family Services national conference, Child Safe Organisations: Prevention and Practice Beyond the Royal Commission are now open.
In December, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its Final Report to the Governor-General. This conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the findings, review evidence-based strategies to prevent child sexual abuse and investigate cutting edge approaches to child-safe practice.
Date: 21 March 2018
Time: 8am – 4pm
Registrations close: Wednesday, 7 March
Anchor Lillydale Office Relocates
Anchor’s Housing and Support Services, including Opening Doors and Transitional Housing Support Services currently located at 112 Main Street Lilydale, will be relocating and available at the following new address from Friday 22nd September 2017:
Box Hill Institute Lakeside Campus
Building LA, Level 2
1 Jarlo Drive, LILYDALE VIC 3140
(PO Box 103 )
Ph: 9760 6400 Fax: 9735 5047
Telephone and fax numbers remain unchanged.
Download the Specialist Homelessness Sector training
calendar February-June here.
Responding to Sexual Assault: 1-day workshop
Up to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault at some time in their lives. Given these statistics it is likely that anyone working in health or human services will at some time work with people affected by sexual assault.
Date: 18 April OR 25 July 2018
Time:9.30 – 4.30
RSVP via the registration form or email Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Trauma-Informed Care and Practice in Domestic and Family Violence Sector – (Level 1)
This training will help you understand the principles of trauma-informed practice using Domestic and Family Violence case scenarios and highlights the importance of ‘working with’ rather than ‘doing to’, of collaborative relationships, choice, client and staff safety and a strengths-based approach.
Fri, 9 March 2018,
Trauma-Informed Transgender and Gender Diverse Affirmative Care (Masterclass)
Participants will gain a practical and inclusive framework for implementing trauma-informed principles and best practice guidelines when working with transgender and gender diverse populations.
Fri, 16 Mar 2018, Melbourne
Foundation of Trauma-Informed Care and Practice (Level 1)
Builds awareness around the possibility of trauma affecting the people you support and work with, and provides the knowledge and skills to minimise re-traumatisation and enhance possibilities for recovery.
Fri, 18 May 2018, Melbourne – Early Bird ends 23rd March.
Introduction to Working Therapeutically with Complex Trauma Clients (Level 1)
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.
Fri,15 Jun 2018, Melbourne – Early Bird ends 20 Apr 2018.
SHS Transition Plan Survey
A big thank you to everyone who completed the SHS Transition Plan Survey, your contributions will help shape a robust Industry Transition Plan.