CHL manages Transitional Housing Services in Eastern Region and Gippsland in Victoria. Through the course of the year CHL has continued to consolidate new housing initiatives in partnership with the State Government and community support services. Some of the programs are as follows:
The Homelessness to Home (H2H) program provides long-term, stable housing and customised support to people who have experienced homelessness, to assist them to sustain their housing, maximize their health and wellbeing, increase their economic and social participation and live independently. H2H has been developed with the support of an international philanthropic organisation to address homelessness in an Australian context. The program recognises that people who have experienced homelessness often need support, along with stable housing, to achieve their personal goals and live independently. H2H will offer support to assist tenants to meet their tenancy obligations, orientate and establish themselves in their community, address family, health and children’s needs, where appropriate, and work towards employment, training or further education. Currently three (3) properties in Victoria are being utilised for the program with the long term aim of expanding the program to eight (8) properties.
CHL is setting out to prove its belief that with the right support, all homeless individuals can successfully move into permanent housing.
“Homelessness is a symptom of the under-supply in housing, a structural problem combined with social inequality that is based on a lack of access to appropriate and affordable housing,” says Steve Bevington, CHL’s Managing Director. “We reject the idea that not all people can be housed – they can – but some people need support to be successful in making this transition.”
Another remarkable program is the ‘A Place to Call Home’ program that supports tenants to remain in their existing properties as they are transferred to the Office of Housing as long-term tenants. The program works in partnership with community support agencies who provide ongoing support to tenants for up to twelve (12) months. In Gippsland five (5) tenancies have been successfully transferred and in Eastern Region thirteen (13) properties are currently in the program and will be eligible for transfer. Eleven (11) tenancies have been successfully transferred to date with a further five (5) to transfer in the coming year.
The third program is a youth foyer model, ‘Support for Young People’ in Lilydale that continues to provide high quality supported accommodation for eight (8) young people with tenancies supported by Anchor community services. The program provides secure accommodation and supports tenants to continue with school, further study, employment or training. The length of the tenancy is flexible depending on the circumstances of the young people and support to find independent accommodation is provided as the tenants complete studies or secure employment.
Lastly, the ‘Accommodation Options for Families’ (AOF) program has provided six (6) properties to divert families at risk away from shared rooming house accommodation. This works in partnership with Wesley services, who provide the client support and assist tenants to find permanent accommodation. AOF also provides brokerage funds for short term crisis accommodation.
CHL aims to contribute to breaking the homelessness cycle by using a focus on early intervention and a holistic approach to helping individuals in crisis move to long term housing.
“Early intervention is based on not making assumptions about behaviour as the cause of homelessness. For example, we know the majority of people drop out of the rental housing system based on financial hardship, and once homeless, life becomes so challenging that it can be the cause of mental health issues,” says Mr Bevington.
CHL’s Homelessness Services program in Victoria assisted 4,934 individual households with more than 18,100 client contacts and provided 2,700 clients with financial assistance through the Housing Establishment Fund, (HEF) which assists households to access and sustain private rental housing through rent in advance or assistance with rent arrears. CHL’s Homelessness Services distributed $805,574 in financial assistance in 2011/2012, an increase of $78,439 in 2011-12 which is an average $288 to cover payments for rent arrears and rental bonds.
For more information contact: Preeti Daga t 0430 555 241 e firstname.lastname@example.org