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Introduction to Homelessness and Social Housing Jan Armstrong Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Homelessness and Social Housing Jan Armstrong Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Homelessness and Social Housing Jan Armstrong Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE

2 INTRODUCTIONS Your Name Agency Role How long in the job? The most challenging part of the job? Your favorite part of the job?

3 Victorian context: The facts Around 20,500 Victorians are homeless according to the 2006 Census – Over 45% were under 24 years – 31% stayed in homeless services – Indigenous people are over represented – Over 2,200 people were rough sleepers Women were over 65% of homeless services clients Around 21,400 children accompanied adults to homeless services

4 SAAP DATA – ,000 (or 1 in 100) people sought Specialist Homelessness Support Services of which 135,700 (or 62%) were clients and 84,500 (or 38%) were accompanying children – this is an 8% increase from Largest groups remain women aged in their early 30’s. Biggest drivers are interpersonal relationships, accommodation and financial related issues. family violence higher in Victoria and increasing

5 SAAP DATA Victoria) – cont… 64,800 sought support of which 39,100 (60% )were clients and 25,700 (40%) were children. 1 in 84 Victorians used the Specialist Homelessness Services Sector (National Average is 1 in 100) Majority of clients were young women in their 30’s (or 66% which is higher than the national average of 62%) Men were 33.8% Highest rate of use was for years of age which is 1 in every 63 clients 1 in every 47 were children aged 0-7 and 1 in every 32 aged 0-4 years of age ATSI clients were over represented per head of population All clients were mainly un-employed and receiving a Government benefit

6 SAAP DATA – cont… Victoria now has the highest number of accompanying children in Australia, and also has a higher than national average proportion of homeless children and young people compared to the general population Aboriginal people continue to be significantly over-represented Repeat use of services is higher in Victoria Family Violence as the reason for seeking support is increasing in Victoria People were supported for an average of 64 days and where accommodated, were accommodated for an average of 60 days..There was a high unmet need for specialist homelessness services especially for Drug & Alcohol support and intervention and counselling services

7 The context in which we are working National Affordable Housing Agreement National Partnership Agreement Federal Government White Paper on Homelessness (The Road Home) Victorian Homelessness Action Plan National Rental Affordability Scheme Homelessness Assistance Services Standards Other Acts relating to specific clients (e.g. Children, Mental Health, Family Violence etc)

8 White Paper on Homelessness 2008 (The Road Home) Homelessness is a national priority 2 goals by 2020: – to halve homelessness; and – offer accommodation to all rough sleepers who need it. 3 strategies to achieve these goals: – prevention and early intervention; – improving and expanding services; and – breaking the cycle of homelessness.

9 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER (Cont) Increase in specialist homelessness services (SAAP & crisis accommodation): Creation of Advanced Practitioner positions Creation of 90 Community Engagement Officers to improve Centrelink services Improved links between Main stream services of Health (including Mental Health), Education, Training and Employment, Child Protection and Criminal Justice system. Increased Assertive Outreach services to rough sleepers Establishment of a Council on Homelessness which will monitor goals and targets and report annually to the PM.

10 THE NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING AGREEMENT (NAHA) The National Affordable Housing Agreement provides the framework for all levels of government to work together to improve housing affordability for low and moderate income households. The NAHA replaces the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement.

11 THE NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING AGREEMENT (Cont) The NAHA aims to ensure all Australians have access to affordable, safe and sustainable housing that contributes to social and economic participation. Through the NAHA, the Commonwealth and the States/Territories have committed to a range of reforms that will improve housing affordability to ensure: people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve sustainable housing and social inclusion people are able to rent housing that meets their needs people can purchase affordable housing people have access to housing through an efficient and responsive housing market Indigenous people have improved housing amenity and reduced overcrowding, particularly in remote areas and discrete communities The NAHA came into effect from 1 January 2009.

12 NATIONAL RENTAL AFFORDABILITY SCHEME (NRAS) The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is an Australian Government initiative that aims to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low and moderate income households across Australia. NRAS was created to increase the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate income earners by building up to 50,000 new affordable rental properties across Australia. Under the scheme, the Federal Government has combined with State and Territory Governments to offer incentives to institutional investors and housing providers. Homes under this program are rented out for at least 20 per cent below market rate to tenants who meet income eligibility requirements – including key workers such as nurses, child care workers and police officers. Each of the homes has to be newly constructed.

13 National Partnership Agreements National Partnership Agreements on Homelessness, Social Housing and Nation Building Over next 5 years, $1.4 billion in Victoria By 2012, over 4,500 new dwellings and around 5,600 social housing refurbishments

14 DEFINITION OF HOMELESSNESS Write your own definition of homelessness

15 Definitions of Homelessness SAAP ACT 1994 The definition of homelessness under the SAAP Act 1994 emphasizes inadequate access to safe and secure housing. For the purpose of this Act, a person is taken to have inadequate access to safe and secure housing if the only housing to which the person has access: a) Damages or is likely to damage the person’s health: or b) Threatens the person’s safety: or c) Marginalizes the person through failing to provide access to i) adequate personal amenities ii) the economic and social supports that a home normally affords: d) Places the person in circumstances which threaten or adversely affect the adequacy, safety, security and affordability of that housing e) The person is living in accommodation provided under SAAP

16 Definitions of Homelessness Chamberlain and MacKenzie definition (Adopted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics) Primary Homelessness: People without conventional accommodation – living on the streets in deserted buildings, in cars, under bridges, in improvised dwellings etc Secondary Homelessness: People moving between various forms of temporary shelter, including friends, relatives, emergency accommodation and boarding houses Tertiary Homelessness: People living in single rooms in private boarding houses on a long term basis – without their own bathroom, kitchen or security of tenure and people living as marginalized residents in caravan parks where no person in the household is in full time employment and all persons are at their usual address.

17 Definitions of Homelessness Council to Homeless Persons There are many definitions of homelessness. For the Council to Homeless Persons, key characteristics of any definition of homelessness should include: No or tenuous and temporary accommodation Little or no income and/or financial resources Limited or no family and/or social networks A home is more than a physical structure. The attributes of home can be seen to be security of tenure, security against threats, physical characteristics which do not undermine health or create further disadvantage, affordability, living with people of one’s choice, privacy and autonomy and control. (Neil C and Fopp, R, 1994:3-4)

18 Homelessness: Facts and Myths Myth: All homeless people live on the streets. Fact: Myth: There are not many homeless in Australia. Fact: Myth: Most of the homeless are older men who look dirty and untidy. Fact: Myth: Homeless people can only blame themselves. They should do something about it. Myth:The poor will always be with us and there is little a government can do for people who choose to be homeless. Fact: Homelessness exists in Australia because:

19 Homelessness: Facts and Myths Myth: All homeless people live on the streets. Fact: Some homeless people live on the streets, but the majority live in temporary accommodation, with friends or relatives, in Caravan Parks, Hotels or Motels, in their cars, squats, Boarding or Rooming Houses Myth: There are not many homeless in Australia. Fact: In the 2006 Census over people were recorded as being homeless (Nationally) Myth: Most homeless people are older men who look dirty and untidy. Fact: Single adults (aged 18+) form the largest group of homeless people, 65% of homelessness services sector clients are women escaping family violence, including 21,500 children (Victoria) and 45% are under 24 years of age Myth: Homeless people can only blame themselves. They should do something about it. Fact: There are many, complicated reasons why people become homeless

20 AM I HOMELESS? Small group exercise

21 The Role of SAAP The overall aim of SAAP is to provide transitional supported accommodation and related support services….. Within this aim the goals are; to re establish family links where appropriate to establish capacity to live independently of SAAP HEF and material aid

22 SAAP SERVICE MODELS Crisis Supported Accommodation Transitional Support Telephone Information and Referral Homeless Persons Support Service Service Support

23 The Role of SAAP cont………. Resolve crisis Encourage family reunification (if appropriate) Crisis accommodation, housing information, housing referral Children's brokerage funding Emotional support, counselling, advocacy Transport Referral to health, legal, income, education services Meals

24 RESPONDING TO PARTICULAR TARGET GROUPS WOMEN EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WOMEN WITH ACCOMPANYING CHILDREN YOUNG PEOPLE ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS NON ENGLISH SPEAKING BACKGROUNDS (CALD) FAMILIES SINGLE MEN SINGLE WOMEN

25 Causes of homelessness Family Violence Family Breakdown Loss of employment Debt Mental Illness Substance Abuse Poverty History of abuse (children)

26 FINAL EXERCISE Small group exercise

27 Homelessness Networker Details Jan Armstrong


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