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Victorian budget offers some relief for homelessness, but more support needed, says Council to Homeless Persons


The Victorian budget has provided critical funding for frontline homelessness services, but more is needed to address the current crisis, according to the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP).

Deborah Di Natale, CEO of CHP, acknowledged the $197 million allocated over four years, including $42.3 million in 2024/25, which will allow some key programs to continue operating.

“Funding for frontline services is more vital than ever as the exorbitant cost of renting and vanishingly small supply of genuinely affordable dwellings drives soaring demand for homelessness help,” Ms Di Natale said.

The budget includes measures such as expanding the Journey to Social Inclusion program and introducing new four-year competitive grants for homelessness programs worth $38.5 million, enabling the implementation of best-practice models across Victoria.

Dedicated funding for self-determination approaches to ending Aboriginal homelessness in Victoria through the Mana-na worn-tyeen maar-takoort framework is also welcomed by the CHP.

An additional $16.7 million for Homes for Families, a housing-first initiative, will be crucial in ensuring vulnerable women and children are not forced into homelessness.

However, Ms Di Natale emphasized that while funding for service providers is being maintained, it is insufficient to meet the increasing demand, with frontline workers facing difficult decisions about whom to assist.


“We are urging the government to detail how it will reduce waitlists for public and community housing when new funding for the social housing pipeline dries up on June 30,” she said.

The CHP also called on the Federal Government to provide adequate funding to address the homelessness crisis in Victoria.

According to the latest Census data, homelessness in Victoria rose by 24%, with more than 30,000 Victorians without a home on Census night in 2021, an increase of almost 6,000 compared to the 2016 Census.

In March, there were 60,564 applications for public and community housing on the waiting list, and Victoria lags behind all other states and territories in social housing, with public and community housing residents making up just 2.8% of Victoria’s households.

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