Melbourne Street Count: Homeless see ‘little point’ in seeking social housing

More than half of Melbourne’s homeless people are not on the waiting list for housing because some view it as pointless, an advocate says.

There were 392 rough sleepers in inner Melbourne for the bi-yearly Street Count on the night of June 19, when temperatures dropped to just 3C.

The count extended beyond the City of Melbourne to include Port Phillip, Yarra, Stonnington and Maribyrnong councils for the first time.

About half of those counted were surveyed, while others were asleep. Of those surveyed, 42 per cent were on social housing waiting lists.

It means an astonishing 58 per cent of the city’s homeless were not attempting to access a crucial service.

Mark Feenane, executive officer at the Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA), said there were a few reasons behind that.

“Because rough sleepers do not have a fixed address, many struggle to keep up with the paperwork needed to stay on the waiting list,” Mr Feenane told The New Daily on Wednesday.

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