New Program To Provide Homes First For Victorians

VIC Premier

The Allan Labor Government will support hundreds of Victorians out of homelessness and into their very own homes.

Minister for Housing Harriet Shing today announced eight agencies have been chosen to deliver the new Homes First program.

The Labor Government is investing $48 million to help 500 households over the next three years access to long-term housing and support.

Melbourne City Mission, Sacred Heart Mission, Quantum Support Services, Junction Support Services and CatholicCare Victoria have been selected to deliver the program in eight areas across the state where there is a need more support services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of sleeping rough.

As well as accommodation, those in the program will receive intensive support to ensure they are getting the responsive, flexible wrap-around support that they need to thrive, which may include mental health, drug and alcohol, financial counselling and family violence support for those who need it.

The program will initially operate in Brimbank-Melton, Hume-Merribek, Outer Eastern Melbourne, Goulburn, Ovens Murray, Inner Gippsland, Loddon and Wimmera South-West.

Homes First has been designed on evidence-based Housing First principles, which are focused on supporting people first to find a safe and secure home, then to access support and wraparound services to help them sustain the tenancy. Evidence shows that this approach is critical to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

At least 10 per cent of Homes First funding will be targeted towards Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, to ensure responses have self-determination at the centre of their approach.

The Labor Government has also invested in eight permanent supportive housing facilities with onsite support to ensure that people who require more support to maintain housing receive it. Sites are already operational in Melbourne, Carlton, Dandenong and Seddon - with four more in planning and construction stages.

Supportive housing facilities provide intensive response for rough sleepers, and the new facilities will assist more than 300 people with permanent housing and round-the-clock support that meets their needs.

As stated by Minister for Housing Harriet Shing

"Finding people a safe and secure place to call home is one part of breaking the cycle of homelessness, the other is making sure they have the wraparound supports they need to thrive."

"Homes First is evidence-based and will provide practical, on-the-ground support to hundreds of Victorians right across the state. This is an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness - because we know that having secure, stable housing with wraparound supports leads to better outcomes across the board."

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