Councils unite against homelessness

The number of homeless men, women and children is growing in suburban areas and COVID-19 has further impacted the vulnerability of those without a safe place to call home.

Greater Dandenong City Council, Victoria, is among 13 eastern and south eastern municipalities uniting to address homelessness with a best practice guide launched during Homelessness Week, the Housing First for People Sleeping Rough Practice Guide for Local Government.
More than 116,000 Australians and around 25,000 Victorians were homeless on any given night pre-COVID-19 (ABS 2016 Census), including 7490 across the 13 municipalities and 2103 in Dandenong.

Greater Dandenong City Council Mayor, Angela Long, said, “Homelessness is a growing problem in our region, and COVID has complicated the situation. Councils are close to the communities they serve as providers of ground-level services, we are well placed to make a difference.

“The guide encourages an approach to homelessness based on human rights. Everyone has a right to safe housing and we all have a responsibility to make it happen.”

The 13 eastern and south eastern Council CEOs formed the Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter Group in late 2019 to end homelessness and advocate for more social housing.

The Charter Group Councils recognise the growing need for suburban and local government advocacy for our most vulnerable through improved supports and more permanent and safe housing.

The municipalities include Bayside Council, the City of Casey, City of Cardinia, Frankston City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Knox City Council, City of Kingston, Manningham City Council, City of Monash, Maroondah City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire, City of Whitehorse, and Yarra Ranges Council.