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Aiming to end homelessness in the City of Whittlesea

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THE City of Whittlesea is raising awareness of homelessness and working towards this year’s Homelessness Week theme of ‘it’s time to end homelessness’.

It is estimated there are at least 854 people in the City of Whittlesea who are experiencing homelessness, with many more suffering from housing stress and at risk of becoming homeless as cost of living pressures increase.

City of Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson said while street homelessness was the most visible form, it made up a small percentage of the overall homeless population.

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“Homelessness is a complex issue, and can take many forms, with people resorting to couch surfing, living in cars, or relying on temporary accommodation,” she said.

“Homelessness can strike anyone at any time due to unforeseen circumstances, such as relationship breakdowns, job losses, or the death of a loved one.”

Ms Wilson said research had indicated an urgent need for at least 3600 affordable homes in the City of Whittlesea, with affordable housing embedded in the planning policy to encourage property developers to build diverse housing types, while options to support future applications for affordable housing were explored.

“At the same time council continues to advocate to the State Government for an increase and improvement in the supply of social and affordable housing in our municipality,” she said.

“Anyone can experience homelessness and all members of our community deserve the fundamental right to a stable and secure home.”

The City of Whittlesea is seeking expressions of interest from community housing organisations to develop and manage new affordable homes on council-owned land at Wollert’s Ashline Street.

Council has also partnered with Hope Street Youth and Family Services and the State Government, who are constructing accommodation in South Morang to house people aged between 16 and 25 in need of short-term crisis accommodation.

Services offering support for homelessness in the City of Whittlesea:

Haven Home Safe – for assistance with homelessness, housing crisis and financial stress, call 1300 428 365 from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or the statewide after-hours service on 1800 825 955 from 5pm to 9am.

Frontyard Youth Services – for multidisciplinary holistic programs for people aged 12 to 24, call 1800 800 531.

The Salvation Army Crisis Services – for homeless service open 24 hours, call 1800 627 727.

Family Violence – if you are experiencing family violence and are in immediate danger, call 000. For 24-hour emergency help contact the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Service on 1800 015 188.

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