NSW - Going Home Staying Home

On the 10th July 2012 the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, launched a 2 year program to reform the homelessness services system in NSW.

The reform agenda is called Going Home, Staying Home.

The aim is to improve longer term the results for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness from the existing investments in SHS plus anything more that might come from the Commonwealth/States after the completion of the National Partnership on Homelessness in June 2013

The Minister and FACS released a consultation paper at the launch. They also outlined a process of consultation with the specialist homelessness sector and other stakeholders that includes a Sector Reference Group (of which the three SHS peak organisations, Shelter NSW, NCOSS and the Federation of Housing Associations are members) and an expert panel of researchers and practitioners.

FACS intends to consult broadly across NSW on the consultation paper through both the Regional Homelessness Committees, regionally based SHS networks and other forums over the next couple of months.

Some funds from the overall 2009-13 NSW Homelessness Action Plan budget have been agreed by the Commonwealth for use in this reform agenda, including funding for innovations, leadership development in the sector and industry and workforce development. In addition, an Expression of Interest has been released for trialling Rapid Rehousing projects in the Coffs Harbour and Penrith-Mt Druitt areas using Temporary Accommodation funds from Housing NSW.

FACS has established a separate web page for Going Home Staying Home on the Housing NSW website at www.housing.nsw.gov.au and click on Going Home Staying Home item. the section contains fact sheets and othe relevant information to keep you updated.

To download the discussion paper: Future Directions for Specialist Homelessness Services

Governance and Consultation

Members of the Sector Reference Group are:

  • The CEOs/Eos of YFOUNDATIONS, NSW Womens Refuge Movement and Homelessness NSW;
  • The CEOs/EOs of NCOSS, Shelter NSW and the NSW Federation of Housing Associations

Members of the panel of experts are:

  • Gillian McFeeSue Cripps (Catholic Community Services);Eileen Baldry (UNSW AND President, NCOSS);Trish Evans (Northern Rivers Social Development Council);Michelle Craig (Aboriginal Housing Office);Liz Giles (City of Sydney Council);Felicity Reynolds (Mercy Foundation); and Catherine Robinson (academic researcher)
  • Recently, two consumer representatives, Mary Sullivan and Dale King, both from Street Care have become new members of the panel.

Click for diagram: Governance and Consultative structure

NSW Government Projects and research to inform its reform agenda

  • An approach to assessing cost effectiveness of homelessness programs – background research conducted by the Nous Group, 2011
  • Building a homelessness needs and supply model (using State level SHS and TA data) – PwC (2011-12)
  • Building the above model at a regional level across NSW-PwC, recently commenced work
  • Service Mapping Projects (by 10 RHC regions) funded through the Homelessness Action Plan (reports due for completion by end of July 2012)

Other materials that will be available in 2012 will include Census 2011 Homelessness data reports (due 12 November 2012 from ABS) and reports of the self-evaluations and extended evaluations plus the cross cutting thematic evaluation of the NSW Homelessness Action Plan and its projects (anticipated before 31 December 2012).

Funding for Growing Home Staying Home reform activities

$5.33 million has been approved from the National Partnerships Against Homelessness (NPAH) underspend to support this reform program.

About $4.3million of the $5.33 will go directly to the sector for:

  • an Innovation Fund to help services shift towards new service models
  • initiatives to support industry and workforce development priorities
  • training for providers related to integrated intake, referral and case management approaches

In addition to the $4.3 million to be provided to the sector, about $100,000 has been committed to the leadership initiative. This brings the total funding to the sector for this reform to about $4.4 million.

The balance is for reform development work that will be managed within FACS including the development of integrated assessment, referral and access system and related business processes, scoping IT system options, research and development and additional project management resources to assist the existing SHS Reform team.

The $1 million Rapid Rehousing project announced on Tuesday 10 July is also being funded from the NPAH underspend but is additional to the $5.33 allocated for reform.

Homelessness NSW Submission: Please click here to access the submission made by Homelessness NSW in response to the GHSH Consultation Paper

Good Start for Link2Home call centre

FACS Minister, Gabrielle Upton indicates that almost 2,000 people have been assisted to find accommodation through referrals made to homelessness services by the new 24/7 Link2 Home information and referral service since it commenced on 1 July 2014.

Click here for details