Victoria Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell
New Action Plan To Tackle Homelessness
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell has announced a new four-year, $76.7 Million action plan to tackle homelessness across Victoria.
The Victorian Homelessness Action Plan; 2011-2015 is a new approach to addressing homelessness centred on providing a clear pathway for vulnerable Victorians into stable housing and community and economic participation.
Ms. Lovell launched the plan at the Salvation Army’s café for homeless and vulnerable people in Bourke Street, Melbourne.
“The new Action Plan involves focusing on early intervention, with targeted assistance to help vulnerable people before they become homeless.” Ms. Lovell said.
“Under the Action Plan a range of integrated and coordinated services will be provided so that people at risk of homelessness can get more support when they need it. This approach will reduce the risk of the homeless being trapped in a cycle of homelessness from one generation to the next.”
“We must do more to prevent this from happening.” Ms. Lovell said.
The Victorian Homelessness Action Plan will:
• Support innovative ways of tackling homelessness,
• Investigate models that specifically focus on early intervention and prevention,
• Provide better targeted resources so that they are available when and where they are needed.
The Victorian Government will provide $25 Million under the plan for Innovation Action Projects that demonstrate new ways to tackle homelessness based on tangible outcomes to be achieved for specific groups of high risk clients.
In addition, $14 Million has already been committed to intensive case management, increasing access to affordable private rental and improving transitional housing.
The plan also includes the Victorian Government’s commitment to develop three new 40-bed Youth Foyers targeted at homeless young people, and five new Work and Learning Centres.
These election commitments are a critical element of the government’s plan to help vulnerable people increase their skills and have a pathway into employment and community life.
“This Action Plan differs from earlier approaches in that the emphasis is on getting results, as opposed to short term stop-gap measures.” Ms. Lovell said.
“The plan complements the Housing Framework I am currently developing, which will look at broader aspects of public and social housing.
“The Victorian Government is also providing more new affordable community housing, with a commitment to acquiring 1,600 new public and social houses across Victoria by mid 2012.” Ms. Lovell said.
Ms. Lovell also announced a new Ministerial Advisory Council on Homelessness that will provide ongoing advice to the Housing Minister on the implementation of the Action Plan and longer term reform of homelessness programs.
The Council will guide the work of the government in developing policy and will be chaired by The Hon Dr. Kay Patterson.
“I am delighted that Kay has accepted my invitation to chair the Ministerial Advisory Council.”
Kay’s unique health and social policy experience and long-standing commitment to addressing homelessness will ensure that the Council has strong leadership to advise me on long-term system reform.” Ms. Lovell said.
Dr. Kay Patterson is a former Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Women’s Issues and Family and Community Services. Dr. Patterson is currently a Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Fellow at Monash University.
“I would like to thank those from the sector working with the homeless who have provided valuable input into the development of the Victorian Homelessness Action Plan.” Ms. Lovell said.