In its pre-budget submission to the Victorian government, the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) called on the government to fund a Performance Supportive Housing program with 100 new properties per year targeted at people suffering long-term homelessness.
According to CHP, the Permanent Supportive Housing model had been successfully used in New York and Canada, where more than 75 per cent of participants who were sleeping rough remained in these housing and support programs after 12-24 months.
“Creating homes for rough sleepers is part of the solution, and the key to success is to embed support services that get to the cause of homelessness,” says CEO of CHP Jenny Smith.
Under the Permanent Supportive Housing model, tenants would pay rent based on their income and would be provided drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, health services, mental health services as needed, as well as help to reconnect with family, friends and community activities.
The pre-budget submission has called upon the government to invest $54 million over four years to house 400 homeless people in Victoria. Half of the properties would be drawn from an existing pool of Transitional Housing that was currently used for short-term accommodation, and half would be new builds.
It is expected that by 2024, the plan may provide a permanent home to homeless people in Victoria, at a total cost of $143 million.
“Helping people get off the street will generate savings for the government as it reduces that demand on health, justice and other mainstream services,” Ms Smith said.