Homelessness & housing support

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 Are you currently homeless?
 What is homelessness?
 Housing support/preventing homelessness
 What causes homelessness?
 Helpful links

Are you currently homeless?

If you are currently homeless, crisis accommodation may be your first option. See the Links below. Visit your nearest Centrelink office to inquire about government support and longer-term solutions. If you are homeless due to an issues such as domestic violence get in contact with agencies that provide support to people dealing with specific to your circumstances.

If your current residency is unsustainably or not safe, seek help as soon as possible.

Homelessness makes it difficult for an individual to find meals, work, continue education, and make healthy connections with community including recreational, cultural and sporting opportunities. People suffering from homelessness are more at risk of physical, mental and other health problems.

What is homelessness?

One in every 200 people in Australia is homeless. That means that over 100,000 people will be homeless every night many of these people are women and children.

There is no single definition of homelessness.

  • people experiencing homelessness include those who sleep on the streets or under makeshift shelter
  • people staying in refuges or crisis accommodation or who move from one temporary accommodation to another are also considered to be homeless
  • people of all ages who 'couch surf'. Meaning they stay with friends and family for limited periods of time
  • people who stay in cheap hotels
  • people who stay in their cars
  • people living in severely overcrowded dwellings
  • people who live in accommodation that falls well below basic community standards

Housing support/preventing homelessness

There are many complex factors that contribute to housing instability. If you or someone you know is at risk of becoming homeless it is vital to seek support as early as possible. Identifying the issues and being proactive is the best way to try and insure that you remain in a healthy home environment.

There are organisations that can help support you to deal with issues that contribute to homelessness. Call services and ask for help. It is easier to get results and better outcomes if homelessness can be prevented rather than trying to secure new accommodation.

Homelessness can increase your likelihood of experiencing human rights violations such as: denial of access to adequate standards of living, the right to security, liberty, freedom from discrimination and access education.

As a tenant you have rights. The Tenants Union of Victoria or the Consumer Affairs Tenancy Advice Line (see links below) are good places to start.

Tenants Union (03) 9416577 tuv.org.au

Centrelink may also be able to support you to stay in your accommodation or help your find suitable housing.

Centrelink https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/centrelink

It may also be helpful to look at agencies and organisations that provide legal aid (see our service directory).

What causes homelessness?

Homelessness is a complex issue. Common reasons for homelessness are:

  • domestic violence and abuse
  • persistent and severe mental illness
  • regular use of illicit drugs
  • personal financial crisis
  • long-term unemployment
  • economic exclusion or intergenerational poverty
  • a shortage of affordable rental housing
  • loss of tenancy due to the following factors: The landlord chooses not to renew your lease (selling of property, does not approve of your pets, does not approve of how you are caring for the dwelling; not able to pay the rent; violating your lease agreement; Inability to pay rent or increased rent)
  • current housing becomes unsafe due to issues within the neighbourhood
  • leaving prison or state care such as mental health wards
  • lack of temporary housing due to severe overcrowding

Helpful links

For regional service near you, please use the Directory or the Service Finder Navigational Tool on this website.

AMIDA (advocacy for disability tenancy rights) (03) 9650 2722 www.amida.org.au
Australia Red Cross 1800 131 701 www.redcross.org.au
Community Housing Limited (03) 9856 0050
Consumer Affairs Tenancy Advice 1300 55 81 81
Crisis accommodation info line 1800 627 727

Homelessness Advocacy Services 1800 066 256 www.melbourne.homeless.org.au
Homelessness Australia www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au
Launch House 1800 825 955 www.launchhousing.org.au
Office of Housing1300 268 625
Melbourne Homeless Services 1800 627 727 www.melbourne.homeless.org.au
Tenants Union of Victoria (03) 9416 2577 www.tuv.org.au
The Salvation Army www.salvationarmy.org.au
St Vincent de Paul Society (03) 9895 5800 www.vinnies.org.au
WAYSS (03) 9791 6111 www.wayssltd.org.au