CHP eNews 22 January 2015: More private renters turn to homelessness services


CHP eNews 2015

22 January 2015

Dear *|FNAME|*,

30,000 people in private rental sought assistance from homelessness services last year

Renters in Victoria are turning to homelessness agencies in increasing numbers according to CHP analysis of AIHW data.

Last financial year almost 30,000 people in private rental and home ownership sought help from agencies, an increase of 30 per cent from the previous year. The Age yesterday published an article about the trend, and Jenny was also interviewed on ABC 774 and ABC News 24.

At the core of the problem is a lack of affordable housing options for people on low incomes. With 34,600 people waiting for public housing, too many are forced to pay more rent than they can afford. Whilst peak bodies continue to advocate for more affordable housing, we also need to ensure that the sector is equipped with early intervention strategies like private rental brokerage to prevent people falling into homelessness.

Read CHP’s media release.

Family Violence Royal Commission – Draft Terms of Reference released

This week Premier Daniel Andrews released the draft Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Too often family violence and homelessness go hand in hand, with family violence being the single biggest cause of homelessness in Victoria.  CHP will be providing relevant information to the Commission and actively following its progress throughout 2015.

You can read more on the Royal Commission and find the Terms of Reference on our blog  

Help shape CHP's 2015 Conference

CHP's bi-annual Conference will be held on 17 and 18 September 2015. We've already secured international keynote speaker Professor Beth Shinn, and now we want to hear from you about what else you want to see in the program. We're using an online platform that helps collect and prioritise ideas. You can vote for the sessions you want to see, add your own session ideas, and vote on the session ideas added by others. To start voting click here

Demand for homelessness services in Victoria – CHP digs the data

To remain a responsive and flexible sector, it is vital that we understand the changing profile of clients and the trends that emerge over time. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare collects data from homelessness services through the Specialist Homelessness Services Data Collection. CHP has put together a useful  two-page summary document which captures the main take-outs from 2013/14 data for Victoria and soem of the trends year-on-year.

Across Australia, 254,000 accessed homelessness services in 2013/14 and nearly 100,000 of those were from Victoria. 61 per cent of Victorian clients were female and family violence continues to be the main reason that people seek help from homelessness services. Finding accommodation is the main assistance required, and assistance to maintain a tenancy or avoid eviction was the next most common type of assistance sought.

SHS eNewsletter

The AIHW recently distributed the latest SHS eNewsletter, providing information on removing SHIP and SHOR users.

Complaints about CBD homeless camps show lack of tolerance

In a disheartening article last week, The Age published a number of complaints received from members of the public and business owners objecting to the sight of homeless camps at Enterprize Park and Fitzroy Gardens.

We responded with a letter to The Age, and The Guardian followed-up with an alternative perspective that talks about the responses needed.

We don’t like homelessness either, but rather than vilifying and victimising people experiencing homelessness, we as a community need to be focusing on the solutions to end homelessness that are at our fingertips. Utah recently announced that they had all but eliminated rough sleeping through a Housing First approach that relies on the simple premise of giving the homeless homes. Jon Stewart’s Daily Show did a witty but and incisive story about Utah’s achievement. It’s worth 3 minutes of your time to watch it.

In case you missed it – Betrayal of Trust Fact Sheet

 A new  offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse came into force in October 2014. The new offence requires that any adult who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult against a child must disclose that information to police. DHS has released this fact sheet on the legislation.

As the fact sheet clearly states: “The new offence applies to all adults, not just professionals who work with children. This means that all DHS staff and funded organisations are now required to report to police where they hold a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child in Victoria.”

Arts Centre Home Project:  Conversations about Home and Homelessness

The Home project is just days away from finishing and you may have seen the little houses dotted around the city and suburbs. This Saturday 24th 12.30-3pm, members of our PESP team will be at a CHP marquee on the Arts Centre lawn acting as a ‘living library’. Members of the public are invited to ‘borrow’ a PESP member and talk with them about home and what it means to be homeless. The activity is designed create a safe space for the public to ask questions of people they might not otherwise interact with.


Hearing voices?  Unusual beliefs? Support group

The  Living Room hosts a support group that for people who want to talk through things that are happening in their life including hearing voices or any unusual beliefs. It’s about sharing experiences with others who may have gone through similar things and getting strategies for support. The group is open to anyone.

Date: every Thursday

Location: Living Room Youth Projects, 7-9 Hosier Lne, Melbourne

Time: 3pm

More info: Email Paul or ring +61 3 9945 2100

In case you missed the news!

The Age Multiple families living in single houses because they can’t afford the rent Tuesday 20 January

The Australian Sweat equity could give homes to poor Wednesday 21 January

ABC Charities face closure after losing federal funding Wednesday 21 January

The Age Family violence leading cause of death for women under 45 – royal commission into family violence terms of reference released Tuesday 20 January

Herald Sun War on dodgy rooming houses with suspected slums to be inspected Monday 19 January

ABC 7.30 Older Australian women becoming homeless at increasing rates (includes interview with National Shelter re. funding cuts) Friday 9 January

Jon Stewart The Daily Show The Homeless Homed Thursday 8 January

The Age Homeless people bad for tourism and should be moved on, say residents and businesses Thursday 15 January

The Guardian Homelessness advocates say complaints show need for better support services Thursday 15 January

The Age (editorial) Can’t stand the view? Swap places Friday 16 January


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:

The International Conference of Attachment & Trauma Informed Practice

Supporting Trauma Survivors Makes Good Economic Sense – Keynote speech

"Supporting child abuse victims is the right thing to do. All of us know that. But it’s also the economically sensible thing to do. Early active comprehensive intervention does make good economic sense."

Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

Date: 5 – 6 March, 2015

Register via the conference website.

CHP 2015 Victorian Homelessness Conference – Save the date!

Thursday 17 September & Friday 18 September 2015

National Housing Conference 2015

Opening doors…

Date: Wed 28 – Fri 30 Oct 2015

Location: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth WA


Join us in Perth as AHURI convenes the ninth National Housing Conference in partnership with the Western Australian Department of Housing. Register now to take advantage of the special super saver registration fees!


CHP Updates 

Know a person or organisation that shows great effort towards ending homelessness? Nominate them for the Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards 2015!

Let’s celebrate the organisations and people who show excellence in working towards an end to homelessness in Victoria. Nominations open today and close on 15 July. There are seven award categories that cover individuals and organisations. We are particularly encouraging consumers to make nominations (NB. There is a dedicated award for consumers who have made efforts to end homelessness). The winners will be announced at the CHP conference on 17 September.


  1. Excellence in ending homelessness among young people
  2. Excellence in ending homelessness among families
  3. Excellence in ending homelessness among adults
  4. Excellence in ending homelessness among older people
  5. Leading practitioner award
  6. The Consumer Achievement Award
  7. The Beth Thomson Lifetime Achievement award

Specialist Homelessness Sector Professional Development survey 2014 – the results are in!

During September  to  November  2014, CHP undertook an online survey of people working in specialist homelessness and allied services. The purpose of the survey was to better understand the professional development needs, goals and preferences of people who are working to end homelessness across Victoria. To view the results, click here. To view the results from the 2013 survey, click here. 


Call for contributions – February 2015: 'Homelessness Outreach: Reach Out'

Homelessness outreach is an integral part of the specialist homelessness services system. This edition of Parity will explore the the role of outreach in homelessness service delivery and in a growing number of mainstream welfare service providers.

Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of Friday 13 February

Contribution details can be found here.

Call for contributions – March 2015 'Responding to regional and rural homelessness  

Homelessness in Australia is sometimes mistakenly as a purely “urban” or “city” problem.  To balance this perception, this edition will be devoted to the many large and small regional cities and towns that also experience significant levels of homelessness.

This edition will also examine responses to the unique issues associated with regional and rural homelessness.

Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of Friday 13 March

Contribution details can be found here.


CASA House – Responding to Sexual Assault training workshop (full day)

The workshop will assist those working with victim/survivors of sexual assault who have not had the opportunity to access training previously. It is also suitable for students. This interactive workshop encourages participants to examine the nature and consequences of sexual assault, including common community attitudes and beliefs, and to develop an understanding of the key issues relevant to providing effective support, including initiating conversations with clients about sexual assault and responding to disclosure. Participants will be provided with information relating to appropriate referral options and the supports available for those working with victim/survivors of sexual assault.

Date: Wednesday, 18 March, 2015

Location: Melbourne CBD

Cost: $140 or $80 for students

More info: go the CASA House website or ring 9635 3600


CASA House – Working with the Impacts of Sexual Assault training workshop (full day)

This interactive workshop will extend the skills and confidence of those working with victim/survivors of sexual assault who have completed Responding to Sexual Assault training. 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, 27 May, 2015

Location: Melbourne CBD

Cost: $140 or $80 for students

More info: go the CASA House website or ring 9635 3600

Forum for homelessness and youth justice workers

This training forum provides an opportunity for homelessness and youth justice workers to come together to learn more about the homelessness and youth justice sectors and to implement new protocols between the two sectors, aimed at improving our responses to young people, involved in the youth justice system, who are homeless.

Date: 10 February 2015 

More info here.

Effective Documentation

This one-day workshop will provide practical tips and guidelines for documentation of the care and support provided to consumers, families and carers. There will be a focus on clear documentation according to legislative requirements, organisational policy and procedures and sector best practice.

Date: Thursday 12 February 2015

Location: VICSERV, Elsternwick, Victoria.

For more information and to register click here.

Recognising and responding to family violence – including risk assessment.

This introductory course is for workers with no specific family violence training. It covers the effects of family violence on adults and children, and provides an overview of legal responses, resources and referrals.

Date: 19 February 2015     

Location: Victoria University, Melbourne

Cost: $95 (SHS funded workers) or $250 (non-SHS funded workers.

More info here.

View the full Semester 1 Domestic Violence Resource Centre training courses here.

Single session family consultations and single session work with young people and families

Family Reconciliation Mediation Program is offering this training to the homelessness sector three times in Melbourne and five times in rural Victoria, with eight reflective practice sessions offered as follow up for training participants. Learnings from the training will be consolidated at the next FRMP Conference, currently scheduled for March 2015. 

More info available here.

Date: 23 February 2015

Location: Melbourne and rural Victoria

Challenging behaviours

MIND Australia is offering free half-day workshops which equip carers of people with mental health conditions with skills for managing challenging behaviours.


Sat 28 February – Hawthorn

Sat 21 March – Bundoora

Sat 2 May – Hawthorn

Sat 30 May – Cheltenham

Sat 20 June – Hawthorn

Time: 10am – 1pm

More info here.


Unsubscribe  I  Update your profile  I  Forward this to a colleague

© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, Collingwood, Victoria 3066

P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic