Yesterday the Andrews’ Government released its first Budget with a range of social spending and a particular focus on child and family services. The centrepiece of the housing and homelessness funding was $40 million over four years to continue seven Innovation Action Projects (IAP).
Initially the Innovation Action Projects were set up as pilot programs to trial new approaches to preventing and ending homelessness, and inform future reform in the homelessness service system. CHP called for these programs to be refunded in our 2015-16 Pre-Budget Submission as over two years they’ve shown great success and new ways to end homelessness. The future challenge will be to put these kind of approaches at the heart of our service system.
The Innovation Action Projects include:
- Star Housing is run by Rural Housing Network together with 14 health and welfare partners works with individuals and families in the private rental market. So far 95 per cent of the households assisted have remained in their tenancies three months after assistance.
- Detour is run by Melbourne City Mission, with project partners Kids Under Cover and Uniting Care Cutting Edge is assisting young people at newly homeless or at risk of homelessness. Eighty two per cent of those assisted by the Detour program are now in stable accommodation
- HomeConnect Hub is run by Vincent Care Victoria with Anglicare Victoria and Australian Community Services Organisation. This project works to intervene early and prevent homelessness with 58 per cent of the clients assisted now in accommodation that is financially sustainable, the majority in the private rental market.
- Home at Last run by Housing for the Aged Action Group has assisted 2734 older Victorians who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness by providing a one stop information centre for housing and assistance.
- Next Steps is led by Jesuit Social Services is supporting vulnerable young people who have had involvement with the justice system. With 40 participants; 29 of whom had been in youth detention or prison in the past 12 months; 78% of participants are housed, with the majority in secure accommodation.
- Families at Home is run by Kildonan UnitingCare and partner agencies Salvation Army Crossroads and HomeGround. This project identifies families with escalating signs of risk associated with family violence and focuses on the safety of women and children with interventions that enable more women and children to remain safely at home.
- Regional Outreach for the Elderly Homeless is run by Wintringham and has assisted 521 older Victorians in regional centres into safe accommodation with the support services they need.
For further analysis on other funding items in the Victorian Budget see CHP’s State Budget Analysis for 2015-16