Housing affordability has once again been identified as one of the contributing factors to the increase in homelessness in Hobsons Bay, with local homeless support service Latitude Directions for Young People highlighting the issue in Homelessness Week 2018.
“The rental market in Hobsons Bay has become pretty much completely unaffordable, particularly for young people with limited income and no supports. There is no doubt more social housing is needed and young people need to be part of the mix,” they said.
“We welcome the Victorian Government announcement of a Social Housing Investment Planning Grant being awarded to Hobsons Bay City Council to assist with the future direction of Epsom Street Laverton. A tiny drop in the ocean, but it is something.”
Willy and Hobby recently reported on the 54% increase of community members experiencing homelessness in Hobsons Bay. Of the 311 people who were homeless in Hobsons Bay, 70 were children under 12.
Those who identified as experiencing homelessness in Hobsons Bay were among more than five and a half thousand families in Melbourne’s West who were homeless during the 2016 census night.
Melbourne’s West has seen a dramatic increase of homelessness in the five years between the 2011 census and the 2016 census. In March 2018, 832 households were awaiting urgent homelessness assistance in Melbourne’s West.
Latitude Directions for Young People, an organisation supporting homeless young people in Melbourne’s West, said the figures do not include families and individuals experiencing homelessness who were not counted during the census.
“This is not an accurate number. There are many more who did not identify as homeless on census night. In particular, young people. Young people often do not self-identify as homeless,” they said.
Housing affordability has not just forced people onto the streets, but it has also contributed to the fact that 48% of people residing in Hobsons Bay are living in severely overcrowded conditions. There has been a 362% increase for people living in severe overcrowding.
With the recently released statistics, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defined ‘severely’ crowded dwellings as homes requiring four or more extra bedrooms to accommodate the people who usually live there.
Homelessness Week is an annual week coordinated by Homelessness Australia to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions.
This year’s theme is “Ending homelessness together’’ and Homelessness Australia is encouraging the community to get active as citizens to call on political leaders to make the changes needed to end homelessness. You can learn more at their website.
Latitude is the local response to youth homelessness (16 -25yrs with or without children) and offer assistance and referral services to over 25yrs. If you or someone you know is at risk of homelessness, you can contact Latitude Altona on 03 9315 0061.