Overview of Homelessness and Homelessness Systems in Australia<br />Felicity Reynolds<br />&<br />Ian Carter<br />
Definition of Homelessness<br />For some years Australia has offically used a definition of homelessness devised by Chamberlain and McKenzie (he’s here!)<br />Primary<br />Secondary<br />Tertiary<br />
Homelessness definitions<br />There is no agreed definition of ‘chronic homelessness’. <br />Often used: Continually homeless for 6 months or multiple episodes of homelessness for 12 months or longer.<br />Rural/remote current discussions on rough sleeping.<br />Australia does an official ‘count’ of homeless people at each census (every 5 years). This will happen again in August 2011. (David might like to comment). 2006 – 105,000 homeless.<br />
Mainstream systems support for homeless people<br />No right to housing – although each State has public housing and community housing (but diminished in recent years – 4%).<br />Right to universal health care (Medicare).<br />Right to Federal income support – Unemployment benefit/Disability and Aged Pensions.<br />
Structure of homeless assistance<br />Mostly non-profit delivery (however, significant % government funded).<br />Social Housing – primarily delivered by State government (starting to move towards greater community housing providers).<br />Since 1986 SAAP was primary program that funded single homeless hostels, youth refuges and DV refuges and some other day centres etc.<br />
SAAP<br />Data collection system co-ordinated AIHW (NDCA).<br />SAAP standards were introduced within the past decade.<br />SAAP has now been superseded since White Paper 2008. Replaced with Federal agreements with the States on homelessness and housing funding (NAHA).<br />
White Paper – The Road Home<br />First major Federal focus on homelessness for decades.<br />Feds driving agenda and States obligations for funding.<br />Established PMs Council.<br />Focus on Turning off the tap, Improving and expanding services and Breaking the cycle.<br />Halve overall homelessness by 2020<br />
White paper (continued)<br />Offer supported accommodation to all rough sleepers by 2020.<br />Before these dates – some specific targets.<br />6.1 billion dollars over 5 years<br />Additional 1.2 billion as down payment on 12 year reform project outlined in White Paper. 0.8 homelessness services<br />0.4 on supply housing<br />
National Affordable Housing Agreement<br />Now funds homelessness services as well as public and community housing.<br />Other new initiatives include NRAS. <br />
State funding obligations<br />States to provide 50% of funding under NAHA (v similar to previous SAAP). <br />States are obligated to meet outcomes, as agreed.<br />Eg. NSW and WA now have state homelessness plans. Beginning to move towards Housing First and new models of service (eg. Common Ground and Foyers).<br />
Current homeless assistance system (but changing)<br />Hostels (Shelters) – up to 3 months<br />Transitional housing – 3months – 18 months<br />Day centres and information options<br />States – do some TA (eg. Families short term in motels). WA – family housing program.<br />Generally these programs work ok for the majority – but have not provided long term solutions and haven’t worked for some.<br />
Permanent supportive housing<br />Just starting – not widespread and not well connected with multiple services (as needed).<br />CGs in each State; Other Housing First initiatives (Project 40).<br />Micah 50 lives 50 homes.<br />Foyers (not perm but work to create stable housing careers).<br />
New strategies<br />Refer – White Paper<br />PSH<br />Housing First approaches<br />Street to Home teams – all cities now (2010)<br />Youth Foyers<br />Introduction of a ‘homeless flag’ at Centrelink<br />‘Making ends meet’ (WA)<br />NRAS (attempt at creating private investment in affordable housing). 8,000 over 10 years. Obliged 80% of market rent.<br />
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