Funding boost for innovative Housing First homelessness reforms

News story
The State Government has announced a major reform package aimed at assisting and transitioning rough sleepers on Western Australian streets to 100 social homes across the Perth metropolitan area and the South-West.
Illustration of community interacting with each other

As part of the $24.2 million reform package, a landmark partnership between the Department of Communities with Housing Choices that will deliver 100 social homes between Perth, Peel, and Bunbury specifically for rough sleepers.

Housing Choices will provide property and tenancy management for 100 social dwellings through a supportive landlord model, in addition to securing access to 50 homes.

The Department will spot purchase an additional 50 properties, and these 100 homes in total will be prioritised for people who have experienced prolonged homelessness.

The supportive landlord model was piloted successfully for people sleeping rough in Bunbury. It assists people with complex needs, and this funding seeks to expand the pilot.

Investment will also be prioritised for short and medium term supported accommodation, by providing $2.3 million for a partnership with St Bart's through their Future Homes and Brown Street Homelessness Accommodation facilities.

The funding will assist St Bart's in expanding the availability of homeless accommodation in Perth by 18 new beds, and enabling them to offer specialised case management and wrap-around supports.

The service will operate using a coordinated referral process based on the successful Boorloo Bidee Mia facility, which continues to operate at capacity to accommodate and support people with very complex needs who have been rough sleeping.

Other homeless reforms to be further boosted by departmental funding include:  

  • $540,000 to improve the quality of data in the By Name List and the transfer of responsibility to run it to the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness, to help drive better coordination and information sharing among service providers;
  • an additional $706,000 to extend the Safe Perth City Initiative including the assertive outreach delivered by the Homeless Engagement, Assessment Response Team (HEART);
  • establishment of a single rough sleeping coordination group at key locations - including Fremantle, the Perth CBD, Geraldton, Bunbury, and Mandurah - which will assess individual case management for rough sleepers at each location;
  • consolidation of a number of homeless working groups into a single Housing First Advisory Group to the Minister, focussing on Housing First approaches to reduce the number of people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness;
  • ongoing work towards the consolidation of multiple outreach services into a single service.

Work has also progressed on the East Perth Common Ground project, with a new Request for Tender advertised last week via TendersWA, with the 100 homes supported landlord initiative to provide an interim response to homeless accommodation during this process.

The State Government is committed to improving coordination and delivery of homelessness services, underpinned by effective implementation of All Paths Lead to Home: Western Australia's 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030.

Further information on the 10 Year Strategy on Homelessness and new reforms can be viewed on our Office of Homelessness page.

Page reviewed 24 November 2022