The Andrews Labor Government is taking further action to ensure housing and support is provided to rough sleepers in the City of Melbourne with a new emergency response package.
Minister for Housing, Martin Foley, today announced close to $10 million of new funding to immediately rapidly rehouse 40 vulnerable rough sleepers in inner Melbourne and provide them with targeted supports to maintain their housing.
Continuing the Labor Government’s biggest ever response to homelessness and rough sleeping in the state’s history, the Towards Home program will deliver:
- Immediate, dedicated access to 40 transitional housing units across Melbourne until new additional permanent housing is in place by the end of 2017
- 30 new permanent modular and relocatable homes on public land to be in place by the end of 2017
- A guaranteed pathway to permanent supportive housing so that rough sleepers gain stable housing as quickly as possible
- Case management and targeted supports for an immediate 40 vulnerable rough sleepers for up to 2 years to help them maintain their housing
To oversee the delivery of the emergency response package and develop a long-term strategy to tackle challenges of street homelessness, the Government will establish a new Chair Coordinating the Strategy on Rough Sleepers.
This will ensure there is coordinated action between the Government, City of Melbourne and agencies to address this community challenge. The Chair will be the Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Tony Nicholson, and will report directly to the Minister for Housing.
Mr Nicholson will lead and direct implementation of a long-term strategy tackling rough sleeping that will work to increase the supply of dedicated supportive housing through new partnerships, oversee rapid rehousing of rough sleepers, and ensure pathways to permanent supporting housing operate effectively.
One of his first actions will be to immediately undertake a detailed census and data profile the city’s rough sleepers, so we can better tailor housing options to meet their specific needs and get them off the streets sooner.
The $9.8 million, which will be delivered over two years, builds on the Government’s $616 million record response to homelessness, which includes assistance to 19,000 people facing homelessness, through intervening early and providing targeted support to help people get back on their feet and into long-term housing.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing Martin Foley
“We’re taking action to provide a pathway for rough sleepers out of the CBD. This new package will mean there is now no reason for people to be rough sleeping at Flinders Street Station.”
“People experiencing homelessness need intensive support to address a range of complex issues – that’s why we’re ensuring we have the right services all working together to stop people falling through the gaps.”