ANMF (Vic Branch) Council has made a grant of $7m over the next two financial years to Launch Housing and Wintringham to provide homes for families and older homeless people, prioritising nurses, midwives and carers, and housing services.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick announced the grant at the ANMF (Vic Branch) Annual Delegates Conference.
‘I hope it gives you some comfort and pride that when these projects are up and running in metropolitan and regional Victoria that you have made a contribution,’ Ms Fitzpatrick told ANMF members.
Launch Housing provides long-term housing, short-term accommodation options, services to prevent people from becoming homeless, and services to rough sleepers in conjunction with Bolton Clarke (formerly RDNS).
Launch Housing Acting CEO Heather Holst told delegates that it was possible to end homelessness and people do not choose to be homeless.
‘There’s enough housing to go around but it’s not shared adequately,’ Dr Holst said. ‘The housing market in Australia is a very big game of winners and losers.’
Homelessness in Australia had increased by 14 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and rough sleeping had increased by 20 per cent, with domestic violence the most commonly reported reason for people needing housing services, Dr Holst said. Demand for housing services had increased by 22 per cent in the five years to 2016.
The number of homeless people aged 55–74 – the fastest growing cohort of homeless – had increased by a whopping 55 per cent between 2006 and 2016, she told delegates. Dr Holst said half of the ANMF (Vic Branch) grant would contribute to Launch Housing’s innovative Families Supportive Housing Project in Dandenong, where 60 two-four bedroom units will be built to house families.
The Branch has granted $2m to Wintringham Specialist Aged Care to build 28-30 new independent living units for elderly homeless people in Shepparton.