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Victorian budget secures vital homelessness and family violence services and provides welcome new mental health services

20.05.21

Media release

The Victorian Budget consolidates investment in proven homelessness interventions, as well as providing important new resources to people with the highest vulnerability to homelessness, according to Council to Homeless Persons.

The Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP), which assists people fleeing family violence to be rapidly rehoused, has been refunded in the Budget.

Council to Homeless Persons CEO Jenny Smith says the PRAP program has been enormously successful. Eight in ten PRAP households avoided homelessness and a substantial majority needed no further support after two years [1].

“With people still struggling in the wake of the pandemic, cuts to JobSeeker, and sky-high rents, PRAP is a lifeline for many,” Smith says.

The Budget also continues funding for other successful homelessness programs, including those funded through Victoria’s Rough Sleeping Action Plan that provide outreach and support to people who are sleeping rough, support to young people leaving youth justice, and for Kangan Youth Foyer.

The budget also includes important new investments to address homelessness including $9.1 million for an Aboriginal family violence refuge in the Horsham region, and an expansion of the program to support housing pathways for people leaving prison.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System’s recommendations highlighted the importance of stable housing as a core component of mental healthcare. This is also reflected in this year’s budget, which allocated funding for 2,000 supported housing places for people with serious mental illness.

“We have argued over time for long term housing and support for people with the most complex needs. This investment will make an enormous difference, providing the homes needed to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable community members,” Smith says.

CHP also welcomes the significant new funding for mental health services in the community, in schools, and the increase in acute care services, which will deliver much needed care to people needing mental health supports who are vulnerable to homelessness.

[1] Unison Research Lab

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