Vic Government to Deliver 'Historic' Homelessness Package
13 November 2016 at 10:36 am
The Victorian government will provide more than $109 million in a new housing package, described as the biggest ever response to homelessness in the state’s history.
Premier Daniel Andrews told the ALP state conference on Saturday that the package would help 19,000 people at risk of or experiencing homelessness over the next five years, providing targeted support in particular for rough sleepers, young people and veterans.
“The government will [also] provide targeted support for more than 1900 people to access housing, mental health, alcohol and drug services,” Andrews said.
“We will work with young people at risk of homelessness, those exiting our youth justice system and leaving out of home care to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed.
“To support young people leaving out of home care, get a job or study, we will invest $10.1 million to help with housing through board payments, housing subsidies and leasing arrangements until they are 21.”
The government package will provide more than $60 million to deliver:
- 120 new or developed housing units
- New accommodation with targeted support services in the west of Melbourne
- Rapid housing for those in need
- 30 unit supported housing for women and children
- Accommodation for people with severe mental illness in Frankston
“In addition to the $109 million package, the recently expanded Rapid Housing Assistance Fund will see $24 million invested in purchasing 94 properties and leasing another 79 to provide stable housing for those who are experiencing homelessness,” Andrews said.
“This is the biggest support in history and it focuses on the basics – the fundamental human right to shelter and the assistance you need to get through those tough times and back on your feet.”
One of Victoria’s largest not-for-profit homelessness service organisations, Launch Housing described the package as “fantastic”.
Deputy CEO Dr Heather Holst told Pro Bono Australia News the announcement was very pleasing because it targeted rough sleepers and people living in care who were at risk of homelessness.
“We are particularly excited about it being directed to the rough sleepers and young people living in care and putting a subsidy in there is really good news because that is one of the ways people come into homelessness,” Holst said.
“For Launch Housing the most exciting part is the funding for the Family Supportive Housing Project which is something we have been planning and working on for some years now and that’s really exciting to have definite funding coming into that.
“The government has responded to the spike in rough sleeping that we have seen with some pretty quick action here. It is hard for government to move quickly enough on large scale problems but it is really pleasing to see how seriously they are taking this.
“We are starting to have talks [with the government]. When you are building houses, which the families project will be ding, it takes longer. But these projects are really fantastic because these houses can be built for the specifications that the people really need.
“A lot of the rough sleeping money is for the purchase of established houses… so that will start quite quickly I believe. It’s the right and just approach,” she said.