Skip to content
Government VIC, Political

Victoria’s homelessness sector in crisis, facing workforce exodus

Council to Homeless Persons 2 mins read

Media release | Saturday, 13 April 2024

Troubling new research from Victoria’s peak homelessness advocacy body shows more than half of frontline workers are considering quitting the sector as workloads soar and social housing supply stagnates.

The Council to Homeless Persons survey of more than 250 workers also reveals vulnerable people are increasingly being turned away from overfull frontline services. Two-thirds of frontline workers said this had become more common in the past year.

About 70 per cent said their workload had become busier over the past 12 months, while 55 per cent said they had considered leaving the sector in the past six months.

Frontline workers also detailed their despair at the years-long wait for social housing, underfunding that leaves increasing numbers of people unable to get the help they need and the personal toll when clients are forced to return to a violent home or sleep rough.

When asked about pressure on services over the past five years, 96% of respondents said work was busier.

About 60 per cent said it had become harder for people to secure a place in social housing over the past five years. Only five per cent believed it was not harder to secure social housing compared with five years ago.

Council to Homeless Persons CEO Deborah Di Natale warned Victoria’s homelessness workforce was at breaking point as demand for housing help reached record highs.

“Victoria’s social housing system is buckling under pressure. Immediate and significant funding is needed to stop an exodus of workers that would devastate the sector and turn the homelessness crisis into a catastrophe,” she said.

“Workers are burning themselves out making impossible choices every day about who to help and all too often that help is a years-long waitlist for housing that does not exist.

“While staff on the frontline used to be able to get a housing offer for clients within 12 months, they’re now telling us they haven’t seen offers to any of their clients for several years.

“The situation is unacceptable and untenable. The state government needs to build at least 6,000 new public and community homes each year for a decade to fix the backlog and catch up with other states.”

CHP is urging the government to invest $20 billion over four years to build public and community housing as well as $39.4 million to expand homelessness and housing intake services.

“Sadly, those who make it onto the waitlist represent the tip of the iceberg. Many more can’t even get through the door of a service. They’re trapped in a violent home, move from couch to couch or sleep in a vehicle,” Ms Di Natale said.

“The state government cannot afford to kick the can down the road. Investing now will save lives, and billions in justice, health and community spending.”

Fast facts:

  • Homelessness in Victoria rose 24% at the last Census
  • In 2021, more than 30,000 Victorians were without a home on Census night - almost 6,000 more than the previous Census in 2016
  • In March, there were 60,564 applications for public and community housing on the waiting list
  • Victoria lags behind every other state and territory on social housing, with public and community housing residents making up just 2.8% of Victoria’s households

Contact details:

Georgie Moore
0477 779 928

Matt Coughlan
0400 561 480


More from this category

  • Education Training, Political
  • 30/05/2024
  • 11:35
Christian Schools Australia, Associated Christian Schools and Australian Association of Christian

Listen to Justice Rothman – Schools Need a Positive Right

30 May 2024 – For Immediate Release Listen to Justice Rothman – Schools Need a Positive Right Christian schools are calling on the Albanese Government to ensure certainty and clarity for faith-based schools by establishing a positive right to religious freedom as recommended by Justice Stephen Rothman. In a speech to a Christian schools conference earlier today, Dr Mark Fowler quoted extensively from a recent speech by Justice Stephen Rothman, where he outlined his preferred approach to resolving issues of conflict between various human rights. As Dr Fowler indicated (emphasis added): “Justice Rothman’s views are unequivocal. The conflict between successive…

  • Contains:
  • National News Current Affairs, Political
  • 30/05/2024
  • 08:05
Susan McKinnon Foundation

Susan McKinnon Foundation appoints Mike Baird as inaugural CEO

The Susan McKinnon Foundation (SMF) has today announced a significant new chapter with the appointment of former NSW Premier Mike Baird AO as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer, and Holly Kramer as Chair. SMF founders Grant Rule and Sophie Oh said Mr Baird, in this new role will significantly scale the Foundation’s activity in the areas of improving Australia’s public administration, supporting effective political leadership and strengthening the nation’s democratic institutions. “We are thrilled to announce Mike as our inaugural CEO. His reputation as a centrist, can-do leader who has been highly successful in politics and business, makes him the…

  • Gambling, Government VIC
  • 30/05/2024
  • 06:00
Alliance for Gambling Reform

Vic gambling harm reforms applauded – But action still lagging on critical mandatory pre-commitment system

The proposed changes outlined in the VRGF Repeal and Advisory Councils Bill 2024 before the Victorian parliament have been welcomed by The Alliance for Gambling Reform. The Alliance for Gambling Reform, CEO Carol Bennett said the proposal to disband the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) being debated in the Victorian parliament this week were a step in the right direction. “We welcome the fact the budget - $165m over four years is unchanged, and the functions of the disbanded Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) will now reflect more of a ‘whole of government’ approach incorporating them into departments of health…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.