Friday, May 20, 2022

Churches of Christ DigiAsk project changes the landscape of service provision for the homelessness

DigiAsk is a Churches of Christ Housing Services Limited initiative in partnership with Brisbane City Council. Using Churches of Christ’s mobile office (or DigiVan), the project is helping people experiencing homelessness – or those who are at risk of homelessness – to access technology and help.

Commencing in January 2018, DigiAsk has supported almost 500 patrons with digital advice and access to the internet. The service has also distributed reconditioned smart phones, sim cards and phone battery chargers.

Find out more on the Churches of Christ in Queensland website.

ACT Greens urge Labor to release housing strategy

The ACT Greens have called on their Labor colleagues to release the long-awaited housing strategy urgently, and detail how the government plans to provide more community housing in Canberra.

Greens planning spokeswoman Caroline Le Couteur called on Housing Minister Yvette Berry to release the strategy, after an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed Canberra continues to have the second-lowest proportion of community housing in the country.

It also comes as the proportion of public housing in the ACT has also fallen from 12.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent over a couple of decades, a trend reflected around the nation as Commonwealth funding has fallen and state housing agencies have been left without significant new investment for more public housing.

The city’s planning, development and housing sector has been waiting for the new strategy for several months, since stakeholders formally put forward their ideas in a summit late last year.

While the government pledged the new strategy during the 2016 election campaign, the strategy, if it is complete, has not been released.

Read the full article in the Canberra Times.


How can we prevent financial abuse of the elderly?

Throughout Australia older people are losing their savings, property and homes through financial abuse, usually at the hands of persons close to them such as an adult child or grandchild.

A sense of entitlement, ‘Inheritance impatience’ or opportunism can encourage people to ‘help themselves’ to an older person’s assets.

Elder abuse is not a new problem. It has been occurring in Australia and elsewhere for generations – but its only now that serious steps are being taken to address it.

While the extent of elder abuse in Australia is unknown, conservative estimates suggest at least 9% of older Australians suffer from financial abuse. However, we know that because of the hidden nature of the problem, the majority of cases go unreported.

Sadly, a majority of elder financial abuse occurs within families, and is defined as the illegal or improper use of a person’s finances or property by another person with whom they have a relationship implying trust.

Read the original article on The Conversation website.

Acclaim for Haven; Home, Safe program Sidney Myer Haven

A Bendigo-based housing and support initiative has received its fourth accolade in two years.

What can the Sidney Myer Haven program teach us about tackling homelessness?

MICHELLE Marschall’s eyes widened as she reflected on her first few months at the Sidney Myer Haven centre.

“Intense” was the word the 25-year-old used to describe the program, which couples affordable housing with education.

“It’s confronting to have to open up and take on board that they’re there to help you, not hurt you,” Michelle said.

But life has changed for the better since she decided to commit to the two-year initiative, based in Flora Hill.

She and her four-year-old son live in a place where they feel safe and supported.

They have made friends with the other residents.

And Michelle is working towards the goal she identified when she first moved into the centre – becoming a nurse.

Read the full article in the Bendigo Advertiser.

Heritage Listing Wrecks Affordable Housing Plan

MAYOR Bob Manning has denounced a mystery letter writer whose appeal to the Queensland Heritage Council scuttled plans to build a new affordable housing complex in Parramatta Park.

A single request from an unnamed resident has resulted in the Grove St pensioner cottages being placed on the heritage register.

Access Community Housing’s plan to replace the small 1950s-built cottages with about modern homes can no longer go ahead, despite Cairns Regional Council’s offer to retain two of the huts, move them to one side and refurbish them.

“Whoever the person was who lodged that submission, well done,” Cr Manning said.

“You’ve stopped what would have been a nice job creator for some of the smaller building contractors in Cairns, the ones who are doing it tough. Well done.

“That’s 30 couples who are going to be denied modern housing, close to the hospital, close to the public transport route, close to the CBD in a secure area.”

Read the full article in the Cairns Post.

AIHW releases Housing assistance in Australia 2017 report

The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare has published its report titled Housing assistance in Australia 2017 which provides up-to-date information relating to government funded provision of social housing, rent assistance, home purchase assistance and support services to help households maintain their tenancies.

Secure and affordable housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of all Australians. It provides a platform for many of life’s benefits, including stable employment, connection to the community and a sense of home. Unfortunately, many Australians are not able to access affordable, suitable housing with their own economic and social resources. Assistance provided by governments and community organisations is available to eligible Australians who may have difficulties securing stable and affordable housing – this support is collectively referred to as housing assistance.

Key findings in the report include:

  • 845,400 tenants lived in social housing in 2016
  • 194,600 households were on social housing waiting lists in 2016

For further details on the AIHW report click here.