Aspiring Housing Program
The Aspiring Housing Program will facilitate access to private rental housing to support people living with severe and persistent mental health issues and experiencing homelessness, in South Eastern Melbourne. The key objectives will be to provide suitably located and affordable private rental properties. This will enable a pathway to sustainable housing outcomes.
The Aspiring Housing program will build cross sector capacity and capability through liaison and the provision of education for real estate agents and other service providers about general mental illness issues and the specific issue of client hoarding and squalor. This is intended to reduce stigma and discrimination, provide practical interventions to support hoarders, and plays an important role in advocating for people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and complex needs.
A total of 27 people were accommodated through this program; 10 adults and 17 children.
Clients gave positive feedback and were appreciative of the program. The program enabled clients to work towards their goals. After securing accommodation, clients reported being able to address other issues they had such as legal and custody issues as well as their mental health.
A number of clients were not able to secure accommodation in their desired suburbs due to high market rent. Some of the suburbs with high market rent include Rowville, Pakenham, Berwick and Narre Warren.
The role of the tenancy worker was crucial in facilitating the relationship between the clients and the Real Estate Agent (REA). With the help of the tenancy worker, the REA’s understating of the clients improved resulting in a better relationship as well as better outcomes for the clients. Activities such as information sessions as well as development of flyers were also well received and were significant in reduction of the stigma and discrimination regarding mental illness.