Council to Homeless Persons welcomes the opportunity to provide input into Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Means Test Review. Access to Victoria’s Legal Aid services can form a critical part of the recovery of those who have experienced homelessness. Those who experience homelessness face high rates of involvement in legal matters due to the crises that led to their homelessness, actions arising from their homelessness, and laws that unequally impact on those experiencing homelessness.
Our response is underpinned by our view that all those experiencing homelessness should be eligible for a grant of legal assistance. CHP understands that Victoria Legal Aid’s review found that 98 per cent of those who report their homelessness to VLA receive a grant of legal assistance. It is clear that the current means test, works well for the large majority of those experiencing homelessness, and that for this cohort required change is at the margins. CHP limits its response to those matters with a direct impact on those experiencing homelessness, and those groups overrepresented amongst homelessness populations.
Please note, this publication was published prior to CHP’s branding refresh in 2022.