CHP eNews 8 March Rental Tenancies Act reform – easier, quicker evictions still on the table


8 March 2018

Dear *|FNAME|*,


Rental Tenancies Act reform – easier, quicker evictions still on the table
In October the Andrews’ Government announced a package of changes to rental laws that give tenants a fairer go, including making it easier for pet owners to secure a lease, cracking down on rent bidding and allowing tenants to make minor modifications.

The Government also committed to removing the much-maligned ‘no reason notice to vacate’ provision, but have failed to rule out introducing new speedier eviction processes and a stack of new reasons for breaching one’s lease, which would make evicting someone much easier and quicker.

Five months on, the changes are still just announcements – we’ve yet to see any legislation come to Parliament, as reported in the Sunday Age

Stay up to date with news on the rental reforms by signing up to the #MakeRentingFair campaign.

Being evicted is bad for mental health

Visiting academic, Professor Sten-Ake Stenberg, of Stockholm University, is in Melbourne this week to discuss the impact of evictions. Research that he co-authored found that being evicted can increase rates of suicide, illness, homelessness and morbidity. Professor Stenberg argues that being evicted from your home should be treated like other crises such as relationship breakdown, losing a job, or the death of a loved one.

The social equality expert used his visit to contrast the drastically different experience of renting in Sweden, where renters have much stronger legal protections.
Swedish rental laws include capped rents negotiated by a tenants’ union, leases that have no end date, and far fewer ‘legitimate reasons for eviction’ (e.g. in Sweden the sale of a house is not grounds for evicting the tenants – the sale must include the tenants). Read our blog post ‘Is renting in Sweden really as good as it’s made out to be?’

You’re invited to a briefing on the Everybody’s Home campaign!

On a daily basis we deal with the impacts of the housing crisis and increasing homelessness. Despite the worsening problem, Federal Government investment in social and affordable housing and homelessness has been going backwards.

This is why a coalition of housing, homelessness and community organisations across Australia has come together to form a research-based campaign for change. The Everybody’s Home campaign will be an umbrella campaign to unite the sector and support our existing campaign activities. It will be tailored for both the Federal and upcoming State elections.
The campaign ‘soft launch”, where you can start getting supporters on board starts Tuesday 13 March, prior to the public launch on March 20.
Please join a national phone hook-up to be briefed on how to get involved on Tuesday 13 March at 10AM.
To receive the pre-launch partner pack of campaign materials and register to participate in the hook-up, please email by Friday 9 March at 12pm.

You are also invited to the official launch at the National Press Club in Canberra. You can purchase tickets to attend this event here.


International Women’s Day 2018 #PressForProgress

Homelessness is a deeply gendered issue. Women are highly susceptible to falling into homelessness due to their inherent financial disadvantage, the lack of affordable housing options available to women and the compounding factor of family violence, which forces many women to flee their home. 

Women experiencing homelessness are less visible because they are more likely to be hidden in crisis accommodation, bedding down on couches and sleeping in their cars, but the impacts are just as deep and long-lasting.
Read our IWD 2018 blog post about women and homelessness.


Ashburton social housing project stalls 

Victoria’s public housing renewal program is facing political roadblocks, most recently with the stalling on the redevelopment of Markham Estate in Ashburton due to opposition from the Victorian Greens and Liberals.
The Victorian Government wants to build 200 homes on the vacant Markham public housing estate, where previously 56 public housing units stood. To subsidise the cost of redevelopment, the land would be sold to developers with the requirement that two-thirds of the 200 homes be social and affordable housing for people on low incomes. This significantly reduces the cost of developing new public housing, enabling the available resources for public housing development to go further, and ultimately create more public housing.
The public housing renewal program has been subject to a rigorous Parliamentary inquiry process, to which CHP made a submission. The $185 million program will deliver 1,778 new public homes across nine sites under the private-public mix, versus just 617 new homes if the land was kept solely for public housing. Read this Opinion piece by VCOSS’ Emma King in The Age on the issue.


2016 Census homelessness data expected soon 

It’s been a long wait, but the 2016 Census data on homelessness is expected next week.
While we wait for the data to arrive, it’s timely opportunity to look back at the Parity 2017 edition ‘Revisiting Homelessness Data’.

How were rough sleepers counted in the Census? Are ‘grey nomads’ and remote workers camping out on Census night counted as homeless? Why is it important that a definition of homelessness include ‘having access to space for social relations’? How is Aboriginal Australians’ spiritual connection to ‘home’ incorporated into enumerations of homelessness?  How did the #WriteNone campaign help people who had no fixed address understand how to correctly fill out the Census forms?
These questions, and more, were answered in the Parity article ‘The Collection of Homelessness Statistics in the Census’ which we’ve reproduced in our blog.  

State Election 2018: What do we want, and how do we get 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.

CHP wants to work with all our members and allies 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.
We’re 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:
Melbourne CBD
Ovens Murray

Members Portal goes live


CHP’s Members Portal is now live. CHP organisational members and Parity subscribers will have received instructions via email 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.  

In the news – in case you missed it!

The Australian  Camping at Melbourne beaches allowed for homeless and sick

ABC News Negative gearing law overhaul should exclude wealthy property investors from hefty tax deductions, research says 

The Conversation UK  Housing crisis can’t be solved by tinkering with planning laws – build more social housing instead 

The Age Woeful state of affordable housing worsened by political debate 

SBS News States have win on homelessness plan 

Sunday Age Tenants need better protection from eviction, Swedish expert says 
Sunday Age Doubt over proposed rental law reform 
ABC Design crimes: How hostile architecture is hurting our cities

The Guardian ‘Straight into homelessness’: housing plight of mentally ill Australians revealed 

Sydney Morning Herald ’Horror rules’: Mayor demands review of affordable housing amid concerns about boarding houses 28/2

ABC Online Landmark report reveals a woman dies every week due to Australia’s domestic violence crisis Drug tests for welfare recipients make a comeback

Herald Sun Residents in suburbs with affordable suburbs plagued by high transport costs 

The New Daily Study proposes tricks to make housing affordable, and negative gearing is top 

The Guardian Labor signals plan to dump ‘punitive’ work for the dole program 

SMH Labor’s ‘walk’ from the dole program 

The Age From world’s most liveable city to Australia’s most expensive city?

The Guardian Plan to make it harder for migrants to get benefits to affect 110,000 children

CHP Updates

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 in Melbourne. It has been four years since the last conference, and this year’s event will coincide with Homelessness Week 2018. Learn more on the website
Date: 6 and 7 August 2018
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Cost: Early Bird rates $418 for one day; $770 for two days

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


Support and Safety Hubs – Sector Update

A detailed update on the the development of the support and safety hubs, the new entry point to supports around family violence, is available here, including information on the hub workforce and service model, and related initiatives such as the information sharing regime, central information point and Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) redevelopment.

Job opportunity: Peer Support Worker at Launch Housing

The Peer Support Worker will use lived experience openly, appropriately and effectively to build professional relationships with the people they support that are residing in Southbank Crisis Accommodation. The Peer Support Worker will also use their lived experience to inform and contribute to staff learning, service planning and the delivery of a support program based on the needs of current service users. Download the position description.


Download the Specialist Homelessness Sector training
calendar February-June here.

Do Food Safely – online food safety resource
DHHS has recently updated its online learning resource DoFoodSafely. The free, non-accredited online learning resource enables people to understand how to safely work with food.
The course is not accredited as the department is not a registered training organisation. However if the user successfully completes the assessment they will receive a certificate of completion. This can be useful for job seekers wishing to work in hospitality.
Additionally volunteers and staff may find the program helpful as a learning or teaching resource.

Transgender and gender diverse training
This training will provide an introduction to transgender and gender diverse inclusive practice. This training does not require previous experience or knowledge in transgender and gender diverse inclusive practice.
Date: 20 & 21 March
Register online

Introduction to Homelessness and Social Housing
This workshop explores the social housing sector. The training focuses on the causal and structural issues of homelessness, the current issues that impact on the sector and different models of work, the components and structure of the social housing sector.
Date: 20 & 21 March
Register online

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
9.30 – 4.30
RSVP via the registration form or email Email 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 

FREE Ice Training
360Edge is delivering FREE Ice Training to frontline workers across Victoria in health, welfare, education and transport sectors, funded by the Victorian Government as part of the Ice Action Plan. These practical interactive workshops build the knowledge and skills of frontline workers to respond safely and effectively to people affected by ice.       
Date: 11 May
Time: 1 – 4pm
Venue: Western Victoria PHN 131 Myers Street Geelong
More info here.

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.



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