Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Place to Call Home in Victoria

Joint Media Release with:

  • Richard Wynne MP, Victorian Minister for Housing, Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs

Federal , Tanya Plibersek and Victorian Minister for Housing, Richard Wynne, today jointly launched a $55 million Commonwealth/State homelessness initiative through the ‘A Place to Call Home’ program.

The Federal Government will provide $29.54 million to the Victorian Government for the program over five years, and the State Government will contribute $25.47 million over the same time.

A Place to Call Home is a $150 million national program which will deliver at least 600 new dwellings across Australia over a five year period for individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

In Victoria, the program will help fund the construction of an iconic supported accommodation facility in the Melbourne central business district, with the remainder to be spent purchasing an additional 68 properties across regional Victoria.

“Every night it is estimated that 105,000 people in Australia are homeless, of these, over 12,000 are children. The number of families with children who are homeless is increasing and now accounts for 26 per cent of the total homeless population,” Ms Plibersek said.

“After 17 years of continuous economic growth, these figures are simply unacceptable.

“ThroughA Place to Call Home, people will move directly into permanent housing, receiving tenancy and support services for the first 12 months to help them address the issues that led to homelessness.”

Mr Wynne said Melbourne’s new Elizabeth Street Supported Accommodation Project would be based on a Common Ground housing model and provide 100-120 units for those needing assistance.

A Place to Call Home will deliver 50 units as part of the Elizabeth Street Project,” Mr Wynne said.

“The initiative would include support for health, education, employment, and living skills, as well as communal spaces such as a cafĂ© and recreational areas.

“An on-site local enterprise will provide tenants with access to education, or training and employment opportunities and occupants would be supported to achieve stable housing and end the cycle of homelessness.”

The Elizabeth Street building will be constructed by Melbourne company Grocon at cost price. The project will be owned and managed by not-for-profit Housing Association Yarra Community Housing. HomeGround Services will provide support services to enable tenants to sustain their housing and get on with their lives.

The Rudd Government released its Green Paper on homelessness in May and is currently developing a White Paper to set the agenda for tackling homelessness to 2020. The White Paper is due for release later this year.