We have developed Yarra’s first Homelessness Strategy, and we want to know what you think.

The strategy aims to ensure our response to homelessness is well coordinated and compassionate.

It is based on our commitment to human rights, and our belief that 'everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and of their family' (adapted from Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

The draft strategy focuses on:

  • Supporting people sleeping rough in public spaces through an informed human rights approach,
  • Collaborating with community housing agencies and support networks to address and prevent homelessness, and
  • Advocating for long-term solutions that reduce homelessness and create pathways to permanent housing and improved health and well being.

Tell us what you think

Read more about the priorities of the draft strategy, and tell us what you think by taking the survey below.

Feedback is due by Tuesday 7 January 2020.

Get the facts

Homelessness has increased markedly in Victoria in the last decade. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census notes a 43 percent increase in the number of Victorians experiencing homelessness between 2006 and 2016. Read some of the latest statistics on homelessness in Yarra:

The rate of homelessness in Yarra is 95 per 10,000 population, the fourth highest rate for any Victorian municipality, and more than double that of the state average.

  • In 2016 there was 838 homeless people in Yarra, including 64 people experiencing primary homelessness (i.e. living in tents, improvised dwellings, or sleeping out).
  • In addition, there were 170 marginally housed persons.

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing, Estimated Homelessness, 2016.

In 2017–18 there were 1,070 clients from Yarra accessing specialist homelessness services.

Of these clients:

  • 546 were homeless and 463 were at risk of being homeless.
  • 547 were female and 523 male.

From the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Specialist Homelessness Services Collection, 2017–18.

On Tuesday 19 June 2018, 392 people were counted sleeping rough in inner Melbourne, including 29 people in Yarra.

Of the 392 people sleeping rough in inner Melbourne (includes the Cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Maribyrnong):

  • 78 percent were male, and 22 percent were female
  • 54 percent of people were aged 26–40, with 34 percent aged 41–60.

From the 2018 StreetCount.

The strategy outlines 3 key priority areas. Tell us what you think of each priority area below.
Priority 1: An informed response to rough sleeping

We will employ a coordinated and practical response to rough sleeping, engaging all areas of the organisation through our Protocol for how to respond to rough sleeping and squatting in Yarra. We will work across council, the homelessness sector and the community to develop best practice ways of utilising existing and potential resources most effectively.

Priority 2: Collaboration

We will build on existing connections and create new partnerships with stakeholders and networks to work most effectively for sustainable, achievable and accountable outcomes for those who are homeless or sleeping rough in Yarra. We will ensure that collaboration is not restricted by arbitrary municipal borders to ensure a realistic and holistic approach for a transient community.

Priority 3: Advocacy

As a council, we are committed to using our voice to advocate on homelessness and rough sleeping matters that support positive and effective outcomes. We are committed to protecting the human rights of residents and visitors to our municipality and will be a voice for the vulnerable and those living at risk.

Let us know if you think we have missed anything, or if you have any other suggestions.

Have you personally experienced homelessness or rough sleeping?
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The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.