Published: 14 January 2014
13 January 2013
A real plan to end rough sleeping in Victoria
The peak body for homelessness in Victoria today outlined a plan to move more than 1,000 people currently sleeping rough in Victoria into safe and secure homes.
In its pre-budget submission to the State Government, the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) calls on the Government to fund a Permanent Supportive Housing program with 100 new properties per year targeted at people who have been homeless long term.
The Permanent Supportive Housing model has been successfully used in New York and Canada where more than 75 per cent of rough sleeping participants remained in these housing and support programs after 12-24 months.
“Creating homes for rough sleepers is part of the solution, and the key to success is to embed support services that get to the cause homelessness,” says Jenny Smith, CEO, Council to Homeless Persons.
Under the Permanent Supportive Housing model, tenants pay rent based on their income, and are provided drug and alcohol, health services, mental health services as needed, as well as help to re-connect with family, friends and community activities.
CHP’s pre-budget submission calls for the Government to invest $54 million over four years to house 400 rough sleepers in Victoria (there were 1,092 rough sleepers in Victoria counted in the 2011 Census). Half of the properties would be drawn from an existing pool of Transitional Housing that is currently used for short-term accommodation, and half would be new builds.
By 2024 this plan could provide a permanent home to all rough sleepers in Victoria who need it at a total cost of $143 million.
The stabbing of a Melbourne man sleeping rough in the CBD has raised public awareness of violence and mental health issues experienced by people sleeping rough.