The Andrews Labor Government’s investment in homelessness and housing is having a positive impact - but there is more work to do, according to new data from a count of rough sleepers in inner Melbourne.
Minister for Housing Martin Foley today launched the data from Street Count, which shows a 15 per cent decrease in the number of rough sleepers in the City of Melbourne over the past two years.
The results confirm Victoria's continued leadership in housing and homelessness – the Australian Homelessness Monitor released earlier this year showed rough sleeping increased by 35 per cent in NSW but just 3 per cent in Victoria.
The Street Count was expanded beyond the City of Melbourne this year to include four additional Local Government Areas for the first time, revealing a clearer picture of rough sleeping across inner Melbourne.
Over 400 volunteers worked through the night on 19 June across Maribyrnong, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra, as well as the City of Melbourne, counting a total of 392 people sleeping rough.
Councils and governments will use this information to better understand the rough sleeping community, direct support to the right areas and work towards long-term solutions to address homelessness.
The Labor Government has invested over $1 billion in homelessness and housing support since coming to government – including the $45 million Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan to intervene early, get those at risk of homelessness housed quickly and help them maintain that housing.
The Action Plan includes $19 million for outreach teams in areas of high need throughout the State, which will put workers on the ground to actively seek out and engage with those experiencing homelessness.
While the Labor Government is investing in those most at risk of rough sleeping, the Turnbull Liberal Government continues to slash support – with the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement threatening $395 million in cuts to housing services in Victoria.
In addition, the Victorian Liberals have promised to close and sell off accommodation that provides safe, secure, temporary homes for those experiencing homelessness, with on-site support services to help people get back on their feet.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing Martin Foley
“The results of last month’s Street Count are an encouraging sign that our record investments into housing and homelessness services are having a positive impact on people’s lives – but we know there is more to do.”
“Ending homelessness takes an entire community, across all levels of government – and we need to work together to make sure all Victorians have access to the safe homes they deserve.”
“While the Turnbull Government and Victorian Liberals are set on cutting funding and access to housing services, we’re working to break the cycle of homelessness and keep people in safe, secure housing.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020