23/07/2009 - 14:59

Rudd, WA commit $135m for homelessness

23/07/2009 - 14:59

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The federal and Western Australian governments have today announced a $135 million, four-year plan to help combat and prevent homelessness in the state.

Rudd, WA commit $135m for homelessness

The federal and Western Australian governments have today announced a $135 million, four-year plan to help combat and prevent homelessness in the state.

 

The announcement is below:

 

The Federal and Western Australian governments today announced a four-year, $135.1million plan to help combat and prevent homelessness in Western Australia.

The 'National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness' (NPAH) aimed to reduce overall homelessness by seven per cent, rough sleeping by 25 per cent and indigenous homelessness by 33 per cent by 2013.

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said homelessness was a serious community issue, stemming from long-term unemployment; mental health issues; a shortage of affordable housing; substance abuse; domestic and family violence and relationship breakdowns.

"The Western Australian Implementation Plan NPAH will see new approaches to tackle the factors that lead to homelessness," Mrs McSweeney said.

"This agreement enables us to take some very proactive steps in reducing the incidence of homelessness in WA and greatly improve the lives of many of our community members who are the most disadvantaged.

"It is important to realise that homelessness can be prevented. We will put a strong focus on working with people at risk before they become homeless, to provide them with the appropriate support before they reach crisis point.

"This will help people retain the dignity that comes with living in their own home, ensure that children's education is not disrupted and that social networks are maintained.

"I am pleased there has been no delay with the release of funds for Western Australia and the roll-out of the initiatives is about to commence. The community services sector is an important partner in implementing this plan.

"More detailed consultation will occur with the sector to fine tune the programs. Once the contracting processes are finalised, further details will be provided about the funding allocation for each initiative."

The Minister said that 56 per cent of the funding had been allocated to break the cycle of homelessness, via targeted initiatives including:

A Place to Call Home: 33 new social housing dwellings with targeted support services for the first year of tenancy and a development providing secure housing and on-site support services to around 100 young people, including 35 young people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Assertive Outreach Project: Three new outreach teams - supported by a specialist mobile clinical team for mental health, drug and alcohol assessment, treatment and referral - will provide intensive support including access to stable accommodation for rough sleepers.

Assistance for Rough Sleepers: Provision of support to access and maintain long term, stable accommodation with services in inner city Perth.

Specialist homelessness accommodation workers: 17 new specialist homelessness accommodation workers will provide assistance and support for homeless people, including families with children, to stabilise their situation and to achieve sustainable housing.

Assertive Outreach Project in remote areas: Assertive outreach programs in the Goldfields and Kimberley areas to connect rough sleepers to long-term housing and health services.

44 per cent of the funding will be directed toward early intervention initiatives, including:

Private and Public Rental Support Service: New and expanded services to support for tenants to help sustain their tenancies, including advocacy, case management, financial counselling and referral services.

Support for People Leaving Child Protection, Corrective Services and Mental Health Facilities: Independent living options and support for young women leaving child protection services will be provided. Eight new specialist workers to assist people leaving mental health services and five new specialist housing workers to assist people leaving correctional facilities to secure and maintain stable accommodation. Location: metropolitan and rural areas.

Drug and Alcohol Specialist Workers: 10 new alcohol and drug housing support workers will provide intensive support for homeless people with substance issues to secure or maintain stable accommodation.

Support for women and children experiencing domestic violence: Support for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence to stay in their present housing where it is safe to do so.

Support for children who are homeless: Support for children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including continued contact with the education system.

These services will be made available across Western Australia, include metropolitan, regional and remote locations.

More information about Western Australia's Implementation Plan can be found at the Department for Child Protection website http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au

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