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Homelessness and Social and Affordable Housing

Social and Affordable Housing

Having a home is essential to a person’s health and wellbeing. However, not all Australians have the same access to safe and affordable housing.

Nearly 2500 Greater Dandenong residents are at risk of homelessness, but homelessness does not only mean sleeping rough, it also means having no stable place to live.

One of the main reasons for high levels of homelessness is that there is not enough social and affordable housing in our city. Greater Dandenong ranks 23rd amongst Victorian councils for the amount of social and affordable housing available, yet we have the highest level of homelessness in the State.

Unified voice to tackle homelessness

Council has joined with 12 other local councils to launch a campaign calling for more social housing. We pledge to work together, and in partnership with federal and state governments, and public and private sector partners to deliver meaningful outcomes responding to social housing needs and homelessness in east and south east Melbourne.

We seek systemic change to increase the supply of permanent, safe, appropriate and timely housing for the most vulnerable members of our community.

The alliance of councils includes, Bayside Council, City of Cardinia, City of Casey, City of Greater Dandenong, Frankston City Council, City of Kingston, Knox City Council, Manningham City Council, Maroondah City Council, City of Monash, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Yarra Ranges Council and City of Whitehorse.

Read the Regional and Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter.

Understanding Housing Types

  • Social housing is an umbrella term that includes both public housing and community housing.

  • Public housing is owned by the State Government and is provided to eligible disadvantaged Victorians, including those that are unemployed, on low incomes, with a disability, with a mental illness and/or at risk of homelessness.

  • Community housing is housing owned or managed by community housing agencies that support low income people, including those eligible for public housing. They are regulated by the State Government.

  • Affordable housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of very low to moderate income households. They are priced (whether by mortgage repayments or rent) so that these households are able to meet their essential basic living costs. Households that are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent are considered to be living under housing stress.

What does homelessness look like in the City of Greater Dandenong?

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people who experience homelessness are not rough sleepers (living on the streets). Rough sleeping only makes up around 7 per cent of homelessness while the remainder is ‘hidden homelessness’, such as people sleeping in cars, living in rooming houses, couch surfing, or staying in other temporary types of accommodation. (Reference from Council to Homeless Persons at chp.org.au/homelessness)

Greater Dandenong has over 5700 people living in overcrowded conditions.

In 2016, a total of 1942 persons in Greater Dandenong were homeless.(Reference: In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published estimates of the number of homeless people in each municipality and suburb, calculated from the results of the 2016 Census. Homelessness persons were defined as those sleeping outdoors, residing in homeless accommodation or boarding houses, living with friends temporarily, or enduring severely overcrowded conditions) 

This represents 1.2 per cent of the city’s population and nearly three times the overall Victorian level of 0.42 per cent, making the number and percentage of homeless persons in Greater Dandenong the highest in Victoria.

Housing affordability in Greater Dandenong

Greater Dandenong had the second highest rate of rent-related poverty in Victoria. This has led to a 28.2 per cent increase of homeless people between 2011 and 2016. The 2016 Census revealed that 38 per cent of renting households face poverty after paying their rent.

The proportion of rental properties that those on Centrelink payments could afford in Greater Dandenong fell from 83 per cent in 2001, to 4.9 per cent by 2019. Just over half (55 per cent) of single-person households and 59 per cent of renting one-parent families are living in rent-related poverty.

The Greater Dandenong Housing Strategy 2014-2024 provides direction to plan for the sustainable supply of housing in the city.

The Victorian Housing Register is a way to access social housing

As of December 2019, 4675 applicants were on the Victorian Housing Register in Greater Dandenong, with 1872 of them eligible for priority access. Priority access is for people who are:

  • Homeless and receiving support
  • Escaping or have escaped family violence
  • Living with a disability or have significant support needs
  • Needing special housing

To register for social housing on the Victorian Housing Register go to my.gov.au

Homelessness and related support in the City of Greater Dandenong

Launch Housing Dandenong

Launch Housing provides crisis and transitional accommodation, a range of support services, advice and assistance for all people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the City of Greater Dandenong.

Address: 35 Robinson Street, Dandenong
Phone: (03) 9792 0750
Website: www.launchhousing.org.au

Wayss Dandenong

Wayss provides information, referral, support and housing options for people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness. Wayss also provides specialist support for young people and those experiencing family violence.

Address: 20 Princes Highway, Dandenong
Website: www.wayss.org.au

  • Program Wayss Homelessness Support Service
    Phone: (03) 9791 6111
    Office Hours: 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday
    After-Hours Contact: 1800 627 727

  • Program Wayss Specialist Family Violence Service
    Phone: (03) 9791 6111
    Office Hours: 9am - 5pm Monday-Friday
    After-Hours Contact: 1800 015 188

  • Program Wayss Emergency Youth Accommodation
    Phone: (03) 9791 5692
    Office Hours: 8.30am–5.30pm, Monday–Friday and After-Hours

YSAS – Youth Advocacy and Support Service

YSAS provides a range of free, confidential services and programs for young people aged 12-21 years and their families, that are dealing with a range of significant personal, health, alcohol or other drug use issues. Visa status is no barrier to accessing YSAS.

Address: 155 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong 
Phone: (03) 9701 3488
Opening Hours: 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday
Website: www.ysas.org.au

SECADA – Alcohol and Drug Services, Recovery and Support

SECADA is a group of services working together across seven locations in the Monash Health area that provide support for people over the age of 16 years affected by alcohol and other drug use.

SECADA’s specialised services include a health clinic, doctor, sexual health nurse, counselling, and pharmacotherapies. A Needle Syringe Program is based at the following address:

Address: 314a Thomas Street, Dandenong 
Appointments: 1800 142 536
Opening Hours: 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday
Website: www.secada.org.au

Emergency Services

Call 000 (Triple Zero) for assistance, eg, Victoria Police for law and order issues, fire, or an ambulance for a health emergency.

What help is available?

Short-term housing is managed by not-for-profit organisations and includes women's refuges, youth refuges and major crisis supported accommodation services. These organisations may also help you to find or keep long-term housing, and get involved in the community. If you are homeless, you could also get help to get into private rental.

If you are experiencing a housing crisis, please telephone 1800 825 955 (free call) or (03) 9536 7777.

If you are experiencing family violence, please contact Project Respect on 1800 737 732, a 24/7 service for those experiencing sexual assault or family violence, or visit the website 1800respect.org.au

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre also provides a 24/7 response line for family violence victims, providing emergency accommodation and referral to local support services. Telephone 1800 015 188 or visit the website www.safesteps.org.au

What can you do to help?

Residents can help reduce housing stress in the City of Greater Dandenong by considering:

  • Offering your property for rent to a registered housing provider. Email Greater Dandenong Council at community.advocacy@cgd.vic.gov.au if you are interested and if you require more information. 

  • By volunteering your services.

  • Making a donation to a material aid service helping people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness; a housing support service or a non-profit housing provider.

Visit these websites to see how these groups working to address homelessness:

  • Council to Homeless Persons - www.chp.org.au

  • Everybody’s Home Campaign - www.everybodyshome.com.au

  • Housing All Australians - www.housingallaustralians.org.au