10 grants made to support people into safe housing
Through a long term partnership with a closely aligned private Foundation, we have recently been able to distribute 10 grants worth $80,000 to directly and immediately respond to the deepening housing and rental affordability crisis. These grants are focussed on enabling frontline organisations to deliver outreach, provide tangible tenancy support and assist people into safe affordable housing.
The immediate impact of this rental and cost-of-living crisis is that more people are experiencing homelessness and housing stress, seeking assistance from already stretched community services. This current crisis is compounded by an already inadequate and stressed housing sector that has needed reform, higher basic standards and massive increases in public and social housing, for decades. For instance, the 2009 Rooming House Standards Task Force, found ‘squalid conditions’ and ‘unusable’ shared facilities in many rooming houses, but services report little substantive change in the state of many of them, including since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Finding safe, decent, affordable housing is virtually impossible for people on a low income.
People on Jobseeker and other support payments are completely excluded from the private rental market. In Anglicare’s annual rental affordability snapshot in April, out of 45,895 listings, Anglicare found just four rentals are affordable for a single person on the JobSeeker payment. Michael Fotheringham, managing director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, says rental vacancies are now the lowest they’ve been in 20 years.
In February 2023 a National Australia Bank report revealed as many as four in 10 Australians are now suffering financial hardship. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to deepen, the report found that 16% of respondents were unable to afford food and other basics, and 20% have missed a utility bill payment in the past three months. The rising costs for loans, energy, rent, fuel and groceries, driven by interest rate hikes and inflation are combining with a chronic lack of affordable rental housing and has resulted in 1 in 10 people missing utility bill payments. Lifeline Australia chief executive Colin Seery recently noted “…our centres are reporting an increase in help-seekers who have never experienced financial stress before, and we know cost-of-living pressures also disproportionately impact the most vulnerable, including people who are unemployed, renters and young families.”
From our partners…
“With your grant, we can help 80 renters to maintain safe housing, and train 47 law student interns to assist our lawyers and develop a passion for access to justice. We are truly grateful for your support, especially now when renters need it most”
Anika Legal in Naarm
“ This funding will immediately impact outreach and support to Mallee people living in temporary and emergency accommodations. It will also enable us to provide support with a set-up and retention of tenancy, which has proven to be a challenge for our community members, with increasing rents and limited affordable housing opportunities.”
Mallee Accommodation and Support Program on Latji Latji Country
“At a time when demand for homelessness service is surging, and the shortfall in social housing exacerbating the current rental and housing crisis, your support is ever more critical. This grant will help us to refurbish and re tenant our 31 unit property immediately, allowing over 55s singles with experiences of homelessness, to transition to this new long term housing opportunity.”
South Port Community Housing Group on Wurundjeri Country
“The funds will be directed towards assisting vulnerable women in our properties as they make their journeys from chaos into stability. It is simply not possible to recover from trauma and disadvantage, and retake control of one’s life, without a safe and stable base. A home. The support that you have provided is critically important and we are grateful to have partners who understand and support our goals.“
St Kilda Community Housing on Boon Wurrung Country
April 2023 Grant Recipients
|Northern Community Legal Centre||Outer North||$8,000.00|
|Peninsula Legal – Rooming House Program||Outer South||$8,000.00|
|Sacred Heart Rooming House Program||Metro||$8,000.00|
|Servants Housing Inc||Metro||$8,000.00|
|Southport Community Housing||Metro||$8,000.00|
|St Kilda Community Housing Ltd||Metro||$8,000.00|
|Tenants Victoria Rooming House Outreach Program||Outer North||$8,000.00|
|Mallee Accommodation & Support Program||Mildura||$8,000.00|
|Haven Home Safe||Bendigo||$8,000.00|
StreetSmart is continuing to respond to the increased vulnerability in communities affected by the cost of living and rental crisis as well as plugging gaps in funding and support for frontline homelessness organisations. This winter, StreetSmart are raising funds to help vulnerable Australians who are facing rental stress, eating less meals and can’t afford the basics to make somewhere feel like home. Click the button below to see how you can be involved.
If you are a Trust or Foundation and would like to know more about our collaborative grant making targeting grasssroots, localised impact please reach out for a chat with our CEO Geoff Hills at email@example.com