Trans and non-binary Victorians are far more likely to experience homelessness than the general population and need targeted support to ensure they have access to safe and secure housing, according to a new Budget position paper from Council to Homeless Persons.
CHP is calling on the Victorian government to provide funding for a 12-unit facility in central Melbourne to support trans and non-binary people in crisis or who need a safe place to stay while waiting for long-term housing.
“LGBTIQ+ Victorians are almost three times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population and are often dealing with complex challenges such as childhood trauma, abuse, and poor mental health,” Council to Homeless Persons chief executive Deborah Di Natale said.
“Homelessness is distressing for anyone, but for trans and non-binary people , the impacts of being homeless are often compounded by stigma, discrimination, and a higher risk of being subjected to harassment, violence and sexual assault.
“Some trans and non-binary people are reluctant to seek help from homelessness service providers because they see emergency accommodation as more dangerous than living on the street. No one should be forced to choose homelessness over seeking help.
“A facility that is targeted to the specific needs and experiences of trans and non-binary people will mean that members of Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities get the safe, secure accommodation they need, and will break down the barriers trans and non-binary people face in accessing support services.
“It will also provide an opportunity to develop further support for trans and non-binary people that addresses their needs and the challenges they face.”
Council for Homeless Persons’ State Budget Submission calls for an investment of $5.1 million in capital (excluding land costs) and $4.5 million over four years ($1.4 million ongoing) to deliver the proposed crisis and transitional accommodation facility, which would support around 24 to 36 trans and non-binary people each year.
As well as support for trans and non-binary people and the LGBQTI+ community, CHP’s budget submission outlines several other priority actions and investments the Victorian Government can take as part of a 10-year strategy to end homelessness.
These include increasing the overall social housing supply, increasing the capability of the homelessness services workforce, developing an Aboriginal-specific homelessness system delivered by Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and a targeted response to end youth homelessness.