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Homelessness Update: Towards New Models. Professor Andrew Beer Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning The University of Adelaide 8 August 2014. Agenda. Where have we come from? What is on the horizon?. Where Have We Come From?. Reflecting on the past

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homelessness update towards new models

Homelessness Update: Towards New Models

Professor Andrew Beer

Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning

The University of Adelaide

8 August 2014

  • Where have we come from?
  • What is on the horizon?
where have we come from
Where Have We Come From?
  • Reflecting on the past
    • Historically homeless persons supported by charities
      • Wyatt Trust
      • Sisters of Mercy
      • An enduring legacy in the structure of the sector
    • Some Federal and State Government assistance
      • But often caught up in wider agendas
        • Eg war service loans, extension of public housing
        • Support for specific services
          • Dunstan Government through the SAHT bought into Boarding Houses
            • A disappearing private sector form of housing for people we would now see as homeless
where have we come from1
Where Have We Come From?
  • The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) started in 1985 with the merger of State and Territory programs
    • Nationally integrated program
    • The object of the new arrangement was to grant financial assistance to the States to administer the SAAP program.
    • These programs were aimed to provide transitional supported accommodation and related support services, in order to help people who were homeless to achieve the maximum possible degree of self-reliance and independence.
    • The Supported Assistance 1994 Act specified that the purpose was to provide transitional supported accommodation and related services
      • To resolve crisis
      • To re-establish family links
      • To re-establish the capacity to live indpendently
where have we come from2
Where Have we Come From?
  • Homelessness a feature of the Rann Government from 2002
    • Homelessness as a priority of the Social Inclusion Initiative
      • Focus on ‘housing first’, initiatives included
        • Common Ground
        • Street to Home
        • Psychiatric Disability Support Service
        • Funding for emergency departments of hospitals
      • An Inter Ministerial Committee (including the Commissioner)
    • 2004 South Australian Strategic Plan
      • Goal of halving rough sleeping by 2010
        • And maintaining thereafter
    • Thinker in Residence – Roseanne Heggarty
where have we come from3
Where Have we Come From?

"We [the government] don't believe homelessness is something which a country as wealthy as ours in the 21st century can just ignore.”

– Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd 2008

where have we come from4
Where Have we Come From?
  • First national Homelessness White Paper, entitled The Road Home  released in December 2008 (FaHCSIA2008).
    • Established three headline outcomes :
      • First, to halve overall homelessness in Australia by 2020;
      • Second, to ensure that all rough sleepers in need of supported accommodation have immediate access to shelter by 2020; and
      • Third, an interim target of decreasing homelessness by 20 per cent by 2013.
where have we come from5
Where Have we Come From?

The Road Home: three central policy planks  

  • “Turning off the tap” through prevention and early intervention. To prevent people experiencing homelessness from “falling through the cracks” of the system and to intervene in the causes of homelessness.
  • Improving and expanding services by enhancing the capacity of all sectors to provide appropriate assistance to people experiencing homelessness. Existing specialist homelessness services will be maintained for the purpose of temporary crisis accommodation, together with a planned overhaul of mainstream services across all sectors – in order to achieve “joined up” service delivery.
  • “Breaking the cycle” of repeated homelessness amongst special risk groups, through a combination of social housing supply and personal support
    • Three priority groups: people vulnerable to chronic homelessness (including older people and Indigenous Australians); rough sleepers and children.
where have we come from6
Where Have we Come From?
  • The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness: an $800 million combined Commonwealth and State/Territory government commitment over five years, to meet the headline goals of The Road Home, and the NAHA outcome to “achieve sustainable housing and social inclusion” (FaHCSIA 2008) for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
    • Under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, the states and territories will deliver the following four core outputs:
      • Implementation of A Place to Call Home initiative to build 600 homes for people and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness;
      • Street to home initiatives for chronic homeless people (rough sleepers);
      • Tenancy support for private and public tenants, including advocacy, financial counselling and referral services to help people sustain their tenancies; and
      • Assistance forpeople leaving child protection, jail and health facilities, to access and maintain stable, affordable housing.
what is on the horizon
What Is on the Horizon?
  • NAHA extended for one year
    • But no certainty as to the future
  • Department of Social Services
    • Homelessness as part of assistance given to families and communities
    • New philosophies of assistance
      • Questions around individualised funding/assistance
      • ‘Front end loading’ of assistance – potentially
what is on the horizon1
What Is on the Horizon?
  • Homelessness remains a sector in fragments
    • Government/charity/and philanthropic actors overlaid
      • Considerable innovation, but little in the way of scale
  • A number of challenges for the future:
    • Continue to innovate
      • But also find ways to make best practice models available across the system as a whole
    • Find better ways to meet the needs of individuals
    • Develop a sustainable sector
    • Build community-wide commitment to solving the challenge of homelessness