CHP eNews 27 July 2017: Public Housing: Underutilised and Overcrowded


CHP eNews 2017

27 July 2017

Dear *|FNAME|*,

CHP is now on Facebook
The Council to Homeless Persons has taken the fight to end homelessness to Facebook.  Our page – – is a great new way for us to support and connect with you all.  
Please come and say ‘hi,’ and like and share the page. 


#HW2017 planning heats up


There’s a host of resources available for you to share to help raise the profile of #HW2017. 
You can:

Local homelessness services have been busily planning events to mark Homelessness Week, and in some cases, also getting their local MP involved.

The Eastern Homelessness Network has secured Kevin Andrews, Federal member for Menzies, along with the Victorian Senator, Sam Dunn and the Mayor of Maroondah for their event ‘Homeward Bound: A Walk Against Homelessness’.

There are a range of Blanket Your Community Events happening in the North and West, at which public donations of myki cards, gift cards, mobile phones and blankets can be made. In Werribee, the Blanket Your Community event will take the form of a weekend festival for locals attended by Federal MP, Joanna Ryan.

Frankston’s SalvoCare East will be hosting their local MP, Paul Edbrooke, at their site.

Wombat Housing & Support will open their doors in North Melbourne for a BBQ and invite donations of items from the public. The Salvation Army will host its annual Walking Home Event in Geelong.  

SASHS Western will host a breakfast for clients, as well as invite donations from the community.

In Laverton, Latitude Directions for Young People are hosting a BBQ for clients. The network of agencies operating in the Goulburn Ovens Murray Region are organising a range of activities, including art exhibitions based around the theme of homelessness. They will have local politicians attending the events.

MP’s to take Homelessness Walking Tour
For #HW2017, the Council to Homeless Persons is taking Members of Parliament on a Homelessness Walking Tour; an immersive tour presented by people with a lived experience of homelessness. We issued invitations to over 150 Federal and State MP’s, and 5 of those have so far confirmed their attendance. On Monday, August 7, they will be guided by our PESP member, Jason, around the streets of Collingwood where he lived for three years. Through Jason’s eyes, they’ll walk with him through his journey into, and out of homelessness. 
We hope that by learning about homelessness from someone who has lived it that our MP’s will gain a more nuanced and understanding perspective on homelessness and that this perspective will help them to shape better policy solutions.   


Please like and share the video, and don’t forget to subscribe to CHP’s Youtube channel.


100K homes to end the homelessness crisis
Australia has a housing crisis. Keeping a roof over your head has never been harder. Every night this crisis makes more people homeless. The great Australian dream of having a place to call home is slipping away.

Soon, Council to Homeless Persons will be launching a new petition calling for the Federal government to build 100,000 desperately needed public and community housing properties, in order to stem the tide of homelessness in Australia.  

This campaign is for everyone: people experiencing homelessness, people working in the sector and those who need affordable housing – that’s all Australians.  

The petition is due to go live in the coming weeks – stay tuned!

Public housing underutilised and overcrowded: understanding the AIHW data

An AIHW report released this month shows that 1-in-6 Victorian public housing properties are ‘underutilised,’ and 5% are overcrowded.
The report ‘Housing Assistance in Australia’ reveals that the current shortage of 1-2 bedroom properties isn’t just causing longer wait times for singles, but is also preventing smaller households from moving from larger to smaller properties if they choose.   
On the other end of the spectrum, overcrowding in social housing also causes homelessness. In our blog delving into the issue, CHP PESP graduate Joal, describes how an overcrowded living situation forced her to leave home at the age of16. 
Learn more in our full blog here

White Ribbon Night
Friday 28 July is White Ribbon Night, a night to raise awareness to end men’s violence against women.

In Australia, family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in women. In 2015-16, 106,000 people experiencing domestic and family violence sought assistance from homelessness agencies across Australia. 92% of those clients were females and children. The number of clients seeking assistance from homelessness services because of family violence has also been rising steadily, with an average increase of 7% a year since 2011-12. 
We hope that you join us on White Ribbon Night in raising awareness of the insidious relationship between family violence and homelessness and the steps we can be taking to create change. For more information, see the White Ribbon Website

City of Melbourne bylaws vote POSTPONED
The decision on proposed bylaws banning camping in the CBD has been postponed. Melbourne City Councillors were due to vote on the proposed bylaws on 25 July, but it is now likely to happen in September (date TBC). 
This will give the Council more time to consider the Human Right implications of such bylaws, and also for Council and services to continue to explore initiatives and responses to the rough sleeping crisis that don’t involve laws (see the 14-point proposal endorsed by 54 organisations). Lend your support to the #KeepYourHeart Melbourne campaign to help influence the outcome of this important issue.

CHP’s top picks

Visit CHP’s what’s on page for more events and information or follow us via the social links below. 

CHP Updates

Parity – Call for contributions

The September 2017 edition of Parity “Current issues in housing tenure” is now open for contributions. The central aim of this joint edition of Parity and HousingWorks is to examine the range of tenancy issues that impact on the ability of people, particularly people attempting to exit or at risk of homelessness, to sustain their tenancies. Contributions close 9 September 2017. Download the flyer here.  

Contributions are also still open for the August 2017 “The Future of National Homelessness Policy” edition of Parity and close  Friday 11 August 2017. Download the August call for contributions flyer or contact Noel Murray for further details. 

Current Parity edition: NDIS, housing and homelessness edition. 
View this edition’s full list of articles and contributors here. Subscribe to Parity here.


$200,000 to build resilience and capability for people experiencing homelessness.  
Community Sector Banking has announced its annual Social Investment Grants Program, with this year’s theme being building resilience and capability for people who are experiencing homelessness or domestic and family violence. Not-for-profits are invited to apply for grants totalling $200,000.

Download the fact sheet for the Social Investment Grants Program, and get your applications in by 4 August.

Conferences and events

We are excited to announce that we’ve locked in a very special guest speaker for a keynote address on Trauma and adolescent family violence: Delivering better homelessness responses.  Dr. Anita Morris, Principal Family Violence Practitioner, will explore the complexities of young people who use violence in the home who are often both victims and perpetrators of violence. How can we both protect family members and best support young people with complex behaviour? Book your place today.  

Subscribe to conference updates here

Dates: 13 & 14 September

2017 Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards

There are only eight days left to nominate an exceptional person or organisation for the Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards. This is a great opportunity to nominate and recognise outstanding specialist homelessness services, consumers or other community members who work to end homelessness in Victoria. 

The winners will be announced at the Victorian Homelessness Conference in September.  The award categories are: 

Strength in the Difference Overcoming Indigenous Family Violence Forum
The full program has been released for the upcoming Overcoming Indigenous Family Violence Forum taking place in Melbourne.
Date: 30 August – 1 September
Download the full program here or register here now to save $200 with the early-bird.
Sessions include:

  • Minister Fiona Richardson shares Victoria’s plan for change
  • FV Survivors’ Session: Breaking the cycle of violence – a Personal Perspective
  • Elders Consultation: Engaging the community – men and women to overcome indigenous FV
  • Police Liaison Officers Panel: Bridging the gap between Police and community
  • Outcome focused session: Working and engaging with Men
  • Community partnerships: collaboration for a more effective DV support system

Trauma and Homelessness

Trauma can be both a cause and consequence of homelessness, but recovery from trauma is entirely possible. It takes time, support, community and stable housing. To explore the topic in-depth, Sacred Heart Mission is holding a live question and answer session between Executive Director Client Services Stephen Schmidtke and Connections Practice Leader Tymur Hussein,
When: July 28 from 12pm
Where: Facebook.

Homelessness Walking Tour

CHP supports and trains people who have experienced homelessness to become advocates and educators through the Peer Education and Support Program (PESP). A PESP member will take groups on a walking tour of the Melbourne CBD / inner city, talking them through sites of personal significance.

All are welcome. The tour may be of particular interest to school groups, volunteer organisations, community group or any individual who wants to gain greater insight into the challenges encountered by those experiencing homelessness.
When: Tuesday 8 August
Register: here
Meeting point: CHP, 2 Stanley St, Collingwood (the tour will end at the St Vincent’s Hospital)

Housing Affordability: Melbourne Writers Festival

What stress is housing affordability placing on the people, the economy, and what is the effect on homelessness and other inequality? Lyn Craig (Australian Research Council), Glyn Davis  (Vice Chancellor, University of Melbourne) and George Megalogenis  (Author of Australia’s second chance) investigate at the Melbourne Writers Festival 2017.  
When: September 1
Where: ACMI
Book tickets: here

Pets in the Park

The next Pets in the Park Clinic will be on 30th July 2017 at Nicholas Hall/Wesley Uniting Church.   

Pets in the Park (PITP) aim to support, build relationships with and improve the wellbeing of homeless people in society living with animal companions. Many people who are experiencing homelessness own pets that play a significant role in their lives. The Pets in the Park Clinic offers a range of free services to the pets of people experiencing homelessness but is available by referral only.  
For more info and referrals, download the monthly flyer. referral instructions, info pamphlet and ongoing client referral form.  

Wintringham Art Show

The second Wintringham Art Show will run from 28th July to 10th August at the Collingwood Gallery, 292 Smith Street Collingwood. The show, which will display works from clients and resident of Wintringham, will be opened by the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. 
Find out more

‘Different voices, Common Goals’ Art Workshops
Regular workshops are being held for those living, working or connected to North and West Melbourne, who would like to explore themes of home, community, connection and dreams through art.
The North and West Melbourne Homeless Action Group will be holding workshops Mondays and Tuesdays until October, as well as a free BBQ this coming Tuesday the 1 August at 12pm. 
Where: North Melbourne Community Centre
When: download the flyer here

Victorian Housing Register Information Sessions
The Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with Community Housing Federation of Victoria (CHFV) are holding a series of information sessions around the state to inform stakeholders about the next phase of implementation of the Victorian Housing Register.  The sessions will cover:

  • Overview of the Victorian Housing Register – including structure and types of housing  
  • How the Register will be implemented in phase 2
  • Enabling legislation to operate the Register
  • Information sharing arrangements charter, and more. 

Online application demonstration – for any participants who would like to know ‘how to’ use the online application form to register applicants onto the register, a demonstration will take place after the information session.

Download the calendar of information sessions and find your nearest session.

Promotion of Safe Sleeping Advice for Homelessness Sector
The Commission for Children and Young People has recommended that homelessness services promote safe sleeping arrangements for infants, and the use of infant safe sleeping resources. This follows a recent child death inquiry and the tragic death of an infant. Please share this advice with staff providing homelessness support to families and infants.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has a range of accessible resources that are available on the Maternal and Child Health Services section of their website

CIMS IT information sessions
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has developed a new client incident management system (CIMS) that will focus on the most serious incidents and strengthen processes to respond to and more effectively manage client incidents, and a new CIMS IT solution to support the new CIMS. In June 2017, the department held information sessions for all in-scope service providers to provide information about the new CIMS IT. Additional sessions are now available.
Download the session schedule here


Specialist Homelessness Sector Training – What’s on in August 2017.
14 August – Specialist Homelessness Information Platform (SHIP)
15 August – Specialist Homelessness Information Platform (SHIP)
25 August – Strength Based Practice
31 August – Introduction to Homelessness and Social Housing (2 days)
Bookings and more info on the Wodonga TAFE website

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© 2017 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic