CHP eNews 2017
23 March 2017
City of Melbourne homelessness bylaw
Submissions have now closed for the City of Melbourne’s consultation on whether to change their bylaws. The proposal targets those experiencing homelessness, banning camping in the CBD, and fining people for leaving belongings unattended. CHP’s submission includes some insightful comments from our PESP team, all of whom have a lived experience of homelessness, and had a lot to say on the matter.
Councillors will be spending the next month considering all of the feedback before the final vote, and the media will continue to play a role.
Youth Homelessness Matters Day
One in three people experiencing homelessness is under 25 years of age. With different support needs from other age cohorts and limited finances, youth homelessness can be particularly complex.
Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2017 will be held this year on Wednesday 5 April. This #YHMD2017 supporters will be calling on the Federal Government to release a national plan to tackle youth homelessness, with organisations and individuals invited to contribute their idea for what should be in the plan.
You can get behind #YHMD2017 by:
If you need more information, or would like CHP to help promote your event via our website, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Walk in my shoes… Homelessness experience tours
CHP’s Peer Education and Support Program (PESP) delivers groundbreaking Homelessness Experience Tours. We are now piloting a tour which is open to bookings by individuals. Anyone with an interest in homelessness issues is welcome to attend.
Groups are lead on a walking tour of the Melbourne CBD / inner city suburbs by someone with a lived experience who will talk them through sites of personal significance. The next tour will be led by Jason, who joined the PESP team at the beginning of 2016.
Date: 21 April 2017
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Meeting point: CHP, 2 Stanley St, Collingwood (the tour will end at the St Vincent’s Hospital)
We encourage you to download and display the flier in your workplace.
Rooming house operator ‘fit & proper person test’ to come into effect
As though in answer to the prayers of the sector, from 26 April 2017 rooming house operators will have 120 days to apply for a licence in order to continue to operate the rooming house legally. Operators will not be allowed to continue operating rooming houses if they have been convicted of serious crimes, or failed to meet their obligations as rooming house operators
Housing associations and housing providers are exempt from this requirement.
In many parts of Victoria, rooming houses are a critical part of the response to homelessness. These reforms will have a significant impact on ensuring that highly vulnerable rooming house residents are not subject to mistreatment by operators.
10,000 Victorian schoolkids sought homeless help last year
As Youth Homelessness Matters Day (5 April) approaches, new data shows an 80% increase in the number of Australian school students presenting at homelessness services over the past three years. CHP took to the media this week to warn that the situation will get worse if Federal funding for public housing is depleted in the May Budget.
As we stated in Parity last year; “There have long been debates about the causes of homelessness, and whether ‘structure’ or individual ‘agency’ are ‘responsible’ for experiences of homelessness. These debates are rendered meaningless when applied to the consideration of the homelessness experienced by children. Clearly children are not ‘responsible’ for their homelessness.”
Emergency Relief and Financial Capability Review
The Federal Government has announced a review into the ‘Future Directions of the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity’. This is likely to have impacts on eligibility and delivery of:
● Emergency Relief ● Food Relief ● No Interest Loans Scheme ● Saver Plus programs ● Step UP ● Financial Capability ● Commonwealth Financial Counselling ● National Debt Helpline ● Financial Inclusion Action Plans ● Commonwealth Financial Counselling for Problem Gamblers ● Financial Counselling, Capability and Resilience Hubs, and ● Community Development Financial Institutions (Microenterprises)
Some of these programs are essential complementary services for homelessness services. Have your say on proposed changes by 31 March.
Not following CHP on Twitter? You’re missing out
Did you know that over 2,000 young people left state care and entered the homelessness system last year – nearly 2 x as many as in 2012? Or that homelessness agencies in Victoria opened 804 new support periods each day? Did you know that one in eight people experiencing homelessness is under the age of ten?
Discover these facts and more by following CHP on twitter! We have started tweeting out daily facts about homelessness under the hashtag #CHPfacts. We’re hoping that this little series of facts will help to counter some of the misconceptions that exist around homelessness.
Research Update: Home in a Storm – The legal and housing needs of women facing homelessness
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s recent report Home in a Storm details the experiences of women who are experiencing homelessness, including their interactions with services.
The report found that there was an urgent need for increased funding to community legal services so that women facing family violence and homelessness can get the help that they need.
With Women’s Legal Service Victoria facing an imminent cut of $200,000 such findings are extremely troubling. Give your support by adding your name to this petition against the cuts useful.
The campaign for fair rental laws gathers pace
We are a proud supporter of the Make Renting Fair Campaign as we share the widespread concerns that weakening tenant protections will directly lead to homelessness for thousands of insecure renters. If private rental access and stability goes backwards for this group, we’ll see longer housing waiting lists, more people in rooming houses and more people sleeping rough.
Sign the campaign petition here and add your voice to the call for fair rental reforms. You can also read CHP’s full submission to Consumer Affairs Victoria’s options paper.
CHP’s top picks
Visit CHP’s what’s on page for more events and information.
New blog: Warehousing the homeless is not the answer
CHP latest blog responds to the public debate prompted by 3AW radio presenter Tom Elliot’s proposal for a large rooming house to be built to house people experiencing homelessness.