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Department of Human Services Office of Housing April 2007 Housing Training & Development Unit.

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Presentation on theme: "Department of Human Services Office of Housing April 2007 Housing Training & Development Unit."— Presentation transcript:

1

2 Department of Human Services Office of Housing April 2007 Housing Training & Development Unit

3 Changing business 1938 Post war housing need Provision of low cost housing for workers and families Eligibility criteria included ability to live independently 1970 Employment of corrections officers Role seen as property manager Decrease in manufactory industry (closure near major estates) 1985 Needs based formula Target public housing low income groups

4 Changing business 1990 Outsourcing rent collection Social justice and client diversity Deinstitutionalisation More community based care and recovery programs in health, mental health and disability areas Integrated with DHS Changing client base Segmented waiting list Fundamental policy change Shift from property manager to tenancy manager with a focus on client service and sustainability of tenancies Focus on early intervention/preventative strategies include referrals

5 Housing Opportunities in Victoria

6 Public Housing Demographics - Statewide

7 OoH Services New Clients Bond assistance Public Rental Housing –Wait turn –Early Housing Movable Units Sponsored Housing Referral Services Existing Tenants Tenancy & Property Management Debt Management Rebate Entitlements Maintenance Services –Call Centre Referral Services –Specialist Housing Support Coordinator Dispute Resolution

8 Housing Office Structure HSO Grade 3Administrative OfficerField Service Officer Team Manager HAAT HSO Grade 2 HSO Grade 1 Housing Services Manager (Office) Housing Manager (Region) Team Manager TPT HSO Grade 3 HSO Grade 2 HSO Grade 1

9 HAAT Duties HOUSING ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE TEAM 1. Initial contact (Front counter) - Meet and greet - Customer inquiry - Screening/assessment - General advice on products/services - Advice on housing options ie pamphlets, directions - Arrange active referral ie phone service, provide directions and contact number 2. Comprehensive assessment -Arrange bond -Pre-sign up interview -Extensive interview to fully explore housing options with client and support service ie wait turn, early housing - Assist client in reaching informed choice ACTIVE REFERRAL SUPPORT SERVICES Homelessness Front door – Crisis and Support Community Health Centre Department of Human Services Local council Identified local support agency HOUSING SERVICES Homelessness Front Door Community Housing providers Housing associations Private rental agencies 3. Pre-tenancy functions -Allocations & Offers -Vacated Unit Maintenance

10 TPT Duties TENANCY PROPERTY TEAM 1. Tenancy establishment - Sign up - Transfer tenancies - Home Visits 2. Tenancy management - Neighborhood disputes -Arrears/debt management -Tenant participation -Rental rebates -Maintenance -VCAT attendance *Early intervention/preventative principles *Sustainable tenancies *Protocol/collaborative relationships with support services ACTIVE REFERRAL SUPPORT SERVICES Social Housing Advocacy and Support Agency (SHASP) Homelessness Front door – Crisis and Support Community Health Centre Department of Human Services Local council Identified local support agency, especially Community connection, assertive outreach funded agencies

11 Social Housing Advocacy & Support Program (SHASP)

12 SHASP SHASP (Social Housing Advocacy & Support Program) focus is: Assistance with Early Housing Applications- Segment 3 waiting list and transfers Establishing Successful Tenancies - Up to six months tenancy support to new public housing tenants who are at high risk of tenancy failure Intervention for existing public housing tenancies at risk- 20hrs of tenancy support to stabilise tenancy Advocacy & Support- For social housing tenants and applicants at VCAT, in appeals, neighbourhood disputes, in linking to other services, in resolving complaints

13 SHASP Outcomes Sustained tenancies Reduced arrears Reduced entry/re entry to homelessness system Consistent approach-clear pathways for all social housing tenants through clarified roles Integration at regional level with HOR/ service delivery model, Complaints Management System.

14 Segmented Waiting List

15 Why Segmented Waiting Lists? To provide housing assistance to support Victorians in housing need and in addressing priority needs –Homelessness services –Early Housing assistance Manage demand for access to public housing –Targeted access to those households in highest need To sustain vulnerable households with secure affordable accommodation

16 OoH Eligibility Criteria Australian Residency Victorian Residency Income & Assets Legal Age Ownership of Real Estate Previous Tenancy Record –Outstanding OoH Debt –Recent Anti-social Behaviour

17 Order of Allocations 1. Police Witness Protection Program 2. VEMP (Victorian Emergency Management Procedures) 3. Recurring Homelessness 4. Temporary Absence 5. Supported Housing 6. Special Housing Needs 7. Redevelopment Transfers 8. Property Management Transfers 9. HOLS (Home Ownership Loan Scheme Conversion to Rental housing) 10. Wait-turn

18 Overview of the Segmented Waiting List Applicants allocated to one of 4 segments:

19 Access to public housing Applicants allocated to one of four segments: Targeted Segments:- – 1. Recurring Homelessness – 2. Supported Housing – 3. Special Housing Needs General Housing:- – 4. Low income without additional needs

20 Wait Turn Housing Segment Applicant meets eligibility limits for public housing assistance, but does not have an urgent/special need for housing

21 Private Rent Market (PRM) Options Applicants are required to provide details of current and past housing history & why PRM is not a viable option. Applicants encouraged to explore PRM where bond assistance & affordable properties are potentially available If applicants are unable to seek private rental or their attempts are unsuccessful the application is assessed on the basis of their current housing circumstances

22 Access to public housing Applicants allocated to one of four segments: Targeted Segments:- – 1. Recurring Homelessness – 2. Supported Housing – 3. Special Housing Needs General Housing:- – 4. Low income without additional needs

23 Special Housing Needs Segment Current housing is significantly unsuitable due to at least one of the following: INSECURE HOUSING Homelessness INAPPROPRIATE HOUSING Severe Overcrowding Unsuitable Housing Family reunification UNSAFE HOUSING Family Violence Serious Threat of Physical Danger URGENT MEDICAL NEED and there is a demonstrated long term need for housing unavailable in the private rental market

24 Access to public housing Applicants allocated to one of four segments: Targeted Segments:- – 1. Recurring Homelessness – 2. Supported Housing – 3. Special Housing Needs General Housing:- – 4. Low income without additional needs

25 Supported Housing Segment Current housing is significantly unsuitable and/or there is a housing crisis and applicant requires either: Major or full disability modifications and/or Significant personal support with a demonstrated long term need for housing unavailable in the private rental market

26 Access to public housing Applicants allocated to one of four segments: Targeted Segments:- – 1. Recurring Homelessness – 2. Supported Housing – 3. Special Housing Needs General Housing:- – 4. Low income without additional needs

27 Recurring Homelessness Segment Current housing is unsuitable and/or there is a housing crisis and there is a history, or high risk of, recurring homelessness with a demonstrated long term need for housing which is unavailable in the private rental market.

28 INFORMED HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES (IHO) STRATEGY

29 Background Each year: –12,000 new applicants –8,000 vacancies Tenants are staying longer in public housing or are unable to access other accommodation due to affordability issues Reduced funding from the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement. Constrained revenue position reduces the OoH’s ability to change the stock profile to meet the needs of new applicants January 2005: Minister for Housing approved the broad principles of the Informed Housing Opportunities Strategy.

30 The Strategy The Informed Housing Opportunities (IHO) Strategy comprises three new policies: –Clarified Special Accommodation Requirements policy; –Applicant Choice policy; and –Eligibility Review policy. The principles underpinning the IHO strategy are: –To provide a timely response to those in urgent housing need –Best-fit housing response, not perfect fit. Matching applicant need with available stock. –Increased contact with applicants in urgent housing need –Better management of early housing waiting lists The policies were introduced on 1 December 2005

31 CLARIFIED Special Accommodation Requirements (SARs) POLICY

32 Clarified Special Accommodation Requirements policy The following areas of the SAR policy have been clarified*, providing a clearer framework for SAR approvals : –Exemption from specific property characteristic e.g. high density housing –Exemption to be close to public transport/special schools –Exemption on basis of illegal drug activity/physical violence –Exemption to access medical service/support provider/family *Refer Chapter 12 of the Office of Housing’s Allocations Manual - Matching Clients with Housing

33 APPLICANT CHOICE POLICY

34 Applicant Choice policy The Applicant Choice policy is designed to assist clients in urgent housing need to access available and appropriate stock as quickly as possible. It is based on the principle of providing a ‘best fit’ housing response, not a ‘perfect fit’ housing response – matching applicant need to available housing.

35 Applicant Choice policy The Applicant Choice policy introduces a new concept: ‘Low opportunity’. ‘Low opportunity’ describes a scenario where the applicant’s Special Accommodation Requirement (SAR) is such that it is unlikely a property to match their requirements will become available within a reasonable time period.

36 Applicant Choice policy The elements of the policy are as follows: SAR Approved for Low Opportunity Property Type If an applicant is eligible to have a SAR approved but this SAR significantly decreases the applicant’s opportunity for housing in their preferred waiting list area/s, the applicant will be required to nominate an additional area where the SAR does not have this impact. SAR Approved Low Opportunity Location If an applicant is eligible to have a location SAR approved and this is low opportunity, the applicant must nominate an additional area where the SAR does not have this impact.

37 Applicant Choice policy If an applicant does not nominate another area, they need to determine whether their SAR or early housing status is most important. If an applicant insists on retaining their SAR, their early housing status will be removed. If the applicant does not make a decision, their SAR is removed.

38 Applicant Choice policy The Applicant Choice policy will apply to all (existing and new) Early Housing applicants who apply for SAR/s from 1 December Early Housing applicants with SAR/s approved prior to 1 December 2005 will not be required to adhere to this policy in relation to the SAR/s that are reassessed. Applicants will instead be encouraged to nominate an additional, higher opportunity location. The Applicant Choice policy will also apply to Early Housing applicants with an existing SAR who apply for a change to their SAR after it has been reassessed.

39 Eligibility Review policy

40 Eligibility Review policy The Eligibility Review policy is designed to increase contact with Early Housing applicants who have waited extended periods for housing. The policy will initially apply to Special Housing Needs (Segment 3) applicants who also have a SAR, and who have waited in excess of 12 months for housing (as at 1 December 2005). Applicants’ continued Early Housing eligibility against current approval criteria will be reconfirmed. The outcomes of the reviews will be analysed to determine if the policy will be applied on an ongoing basis for all Early Housing applicants.

41 Contact/References: Phone contact: Appeals Client Services Good Practice – Policy Hotline Internet site: Look under Public Housing manuals (Allocations & Tenancy management)


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