Tuesday 16th June 2015

Housing and Homelessness News

New Housing Assessment Prioritisation System
Housing Tasmania has introduced a new way of prioritising applications for public and community housing in Tasmania, which is simpler, more flexible and better targets people with the greatest need.
This new assessment prioritisation system has been facilitated by Phase 3 of the Housing Connect Information System (HCIS) project, which involves the electronic application entry on SHIP (Specialist Homelessness Information Platform).
The new system, referred to as the Housing Assessment Prioritisation System (HAPS) will
move from a points based system to an attributes based model, looking at specific circumstances in the following areas:
·         Affordability
·         Homelessness
·         Safety
·         Health and mobility issues.
Using these attributes, applicants will be categorised as either a priority housing applicant or a general housing applicant. These changes will ensure that those with high needs such as affordability, being homeless, leaving an institution or custodial setting or experiencing safety issues or serious health and mobility issues are recognised and their current level of need is assessed appropriately.
The introduction of this new system, as part of the enhancements being made to Tasmania’s instance of SHIP, means all assessments will now be undertaken electronically via SHIP. These will be completed by staff at Housing Connect, which removes the need for the current paper application assessment.
Tasmanians who want to apply for public or community housing will continue to go through Housing Connect.
This change is part of a wider Tasmanian housing reform which has seen the introduction of Better Housing Futures, Housing Connect and the soon to be released Affordable Housing Strategy.
All current applicants will receive written communication. Please call Housing Connect on 1800 800 588 if you have further queries. Housing Tas have produced a range of factsheets on the  new system, which will be available on their website shortly. Click here to read the related media release from Minister Petrusma.

State Budget Update - Budget Estimates
Shelter Tas, in consultation with members, has formulated a comprehensive list of questions about budget allocations in the housing and homelessness area. These were forwarded to Upper and Lower House members to ask the appropriate Ministers. The response to these will be published in the Upper and Lower House Hansard, which we will circulate when they have all been published.

Final month for Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA)
The Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA) will cease operation at the end of the month following defunding by the Federal Government, as announced in December last year. The Canberra office will close and all three current staff will cease work after the 30th June 2015. The CHFA Board and the National Working Group are working to ensure that there will be some continuity of services once the CHFA office in Canberra closes and we transition to the new national industry body - the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA). A new website is now up and running, which includes updated contact details, and further information on CHIA and it's role as the national industry body for community housing after June 30. 

ShelterMe - homelessness resource for Territorians
ShelterMe is a web directory of services in the Northern Territory designed to help people seeking accommodation and support services, as well as a referral tool for sector workers. Go to to find out more about this valuable resource.
Factoid of the Week I Homelessness and Women

Nearly half of people experiencing homelessness are women. 1 in 40 young women (18-24) in Australia receive assistance from homelessness services each year.

Homelessness Australia.

Media Releases

Dream Over: Government wilfully ignorant on housing affordability, ignores renters, changes policy and denies evidence
National Shelter, Thursday 11 June 2015. Click here.

Introducing a Fairer Assessment Model for Public Housing
Minister for Human Services, Thursday 11 June 2015. Click here.

Unemployment figures
Treasurer, Thursday 11 June 2015. Click here.

Saying YES to helping vulnerable households
Minister for Energy, Thursday 11 June 2015. Click here.

Labor-Greens Hypocritical on Housing
Minister for Human Services, Thursday 11 June 2015. Click here.

Research and Articles

Infographic: Australia's housing affordability problem in 12 charts
The Conversation, 15 June 2015. Click here.

A place to call home
The Examiner, 13 June 2015. Click here.

The Govt Relationship isn't Working - Time for NFP Feedback
Pro Bono News, 16 June 2015. Click here.

Housing assistance in Australia 2015
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Click here.

Supply shortages and affordability outcomes in the private rental sector: short and longer term trends
AHURI, June 2015. Click here.

Tasmanians develop dementia at younger age leading to homelessness and family breakdown
ABC News, 11 June 2015. Click here.

Housing inaffordability becoming a major social problem according to leading economist
Radio National, 8 June 2015. Click here.

Braving winter's chill is a way to help the homeless
The Examiner, 6 June 2015. Click here.

Talking Point: Young people most at risk of having nowhere to sleep - by Shelter Tas
The Mercury, 5 June 2015. Click here.

‘Slippers’ and ‘stickers’: the hidden victims of rising house prices
The Conversation, 5 June 2015. Click here.

The opportunity of residential property investment vehicles in enhancing affordable rental housing supply
AHURI, May 2015. Click here.

Events and Training

How Will You Step Up for Homelessness Prevention Week?
Homelessness Prevention Week (HPW) is just 2 months away, 3-9 August 2015. This year, Homelessness Australia is asking everyone to Step Up to raise awareness, understanding and connections around homelessness, and how it impacts on people.
How can you step up?
There are a number of ways you can contribute to HPW in 2015:
  • Take the lead and host a HPW event
  • Be an activist and spread the word via social media - use the #HPW2015 hashtag to be part of the loop
  • Be a supporter - help out at a homelessness organisation
  • Be a champion and sign up to see how you can be part of ending homelessness in Australia
Go to the Homelessness Australia website for more information, download kits to help promote your event or be involved via a social media - and Step Up for HPW 2015!

One-Day Suicide Prevention Course
Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CoRES) is holding a one-day course, to give you the skills and confidence to recognise and then assess a person who may be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
Where: Tresca Community Centre - Main Road, Exeter
When: Saturday 11 July, 9.00 - 5.00 
Cost: FREE (sponsored by the Tasmanian High Country Riders). Please bring your own lunch.
Contact: Sandra Littlejohn on 0407 092 483 or email

Lifeline Tasmania Mental Health First Aid Training
Lifeline is now offering accredited MHFA training. Training will be delivered by a credentialed Mental Health Nurse with 23 years experience working in the Mental Health Industry. MHFA training can be tailored to your workplace and participants can choose to gain a 3 year accreditation. The course will run on Friday 19th June and Friday 26th June at Lifeline, Level 5, The Quay Building, 31 Cambridge Rd, Bellerive.  The cost is $250.00 per participant with morning and afternoon tea provided. For more information contact Lorette Venables on 0419 472 213 or

Dealing with Demanding and Aggressive Clients
Ken Warren, Relationships Specialist, will be presenting this training on best-practice approaches in Hobart on Thursday 25th June and Launceston on Friday 26th June. For more information or to register click here.

Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Workshop
Wesley LifeForce will be conducting a Suicide Prevention Workshop at the Glenorchy Civic Centre, Cooper St, Glenorchy on Tuesday 4th August 2015 from 9am – 4pm. The workshop aims to help participants to recognise when a person may be having thoughts of suicide, and provides a simple strategy to intervene and assist them. The workshop is free and is open to community members aged over 18 years. To register click here.

Other News

World Café - raising men's awareness of family violence harm
Do you have a view on what could help men become more aware of the harms caused to children by exposure to family violence? The Salvation Army and UTAS would like to hear your views on what you think might help at a World Café event to be held at the Ulverstone Surf Lifesaving Club, Beach Road, Ulverstone from 10:30am - 12:30pm on Friday 10th July. To register your interest contact Dr Peter Lucas on 6226 4795 or email

Nabo Community Grants
Nabo has launched the Nabo Community Grants program that forms part of their commitment to supporting and strengthening local communities. The program will provide community groups and charities with an opportunity to apply for one-off funding of up to $10,000 for projects or programs that help build safer and stronger communities across Australia. Applications close on Sunday 28 June 2015. For more information click here.

Petition: Working with Vulnerable People 
A petition is being circulated throughout the community and disability sector requesting additional funding be allocated to organisations affected by the phased introduction of the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013. To download a copy of the petition click here.

Five tips for surviving a volatile funding environment
BNG NGO Services Online, April 2015. Click here.
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