Ending homelessness together

The City of Whittlesea is dedicated to raising awareness about the pressing issue of homelessness and working towards its resolution. This year’s Homelessness Week, running from Monday 7 August to Sunday 13 August 2023, carries the theme “It’s time to end homelessness”.

Homelessness is a critical problem across Melbourne, including in the City of Whittlesea. It is estimated that there are at least 854 people in the community who are homeless with many more thousands suffering from housing stress and at risk of becoming homeless. This has been exacerbated by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

City of Whittlesea Chair Administrator, Lydia Wilson, said that while street homelessness is the most visible form, it makes up only a small percentage of the overall homeless population.

“Homelessness is a complex issue, and can take many forms, with people resorting to couch surfing, living in cars, or relying on temporary accommodation,” said Lydia.

“Homelessness can strike anyone at any time due to unforeseen circumstances, such as relationship breakdowns, job losses, or the death of a loved one.”

“Our research indicates an urgent need for at least 3600 affordable homes in the municipality. We have embedded affordable housing in our planning policy to encourage property developers to build diverse housing types and are actively exploring ways we can support future applications for affordable housing. We are also looking at opportunities where Council land can be used for social and affordable housing. At the same time Council continues to advocate to the State Government for an increase and improvement in the supply of social and affordable housing in our municipality.”

“Anyone can experience homelessness and all members of our community deserve the fundamental right to a stable and secure home,” Lydia said.

Council has a number of projects underway to help tackle the issue of homelessness at the local level. The City of Whittlesea is seeking Expressions of Interest from community housing organisations to develop and manage new affordable homes on Council-owned land at Ashline Street in Wollert. Council has also partnered with Hope Street Youth and Family Services and the Victorian Government who are constructing accommodation in South Morang to house people aged between 16 and 25 who need short-term crisis accommodation.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness, help is available through the following services:

Haven Home Safe – City of Whittlesea

Haven Home Safe can assist with homelessness, housing crisis, and financial stress.

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