Homelessness and Housing Support

Melton City Council recognises that the number of people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness is at an increase and continues to impact on individuals and households within our community.

In the 2021 Census data released by the Australian Bureau Statistic (ABS), there were over 30,000 people in Victoria who are considered without a home on Census night. This was a 24 per cent increase from the previous Census in 2016.          

Council is committed to continue working collaboratively with our stakeholders to improve support and resources available for our community experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.  

What is homelessness?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), homelessness is defined as when a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement:

  • is in a dwelling that is inadequate; or
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable; or
  • does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations.
       

Homelessness takes many forms. It includes:

  • Primary homelessness
    People without conventional accommodation including sleeping rough on the streets, camping in parks, squatting in derelict buildings, living in cars or improvised dwellings.
  • Secondary homelessness
    People moving between temporary accommodation such as friends or relatives’ houses (couch surfing), staying in refuges, and emergency accommodation.
  • Tertiary homelessness
    People staying in accommodation that falls below minimum community standards such as severely overcrowded conditions, caravan parks, living in a single room in a boarding/rooming house without access to a kitchen or bathroom. 

What are the causes of homelessness?

The causes of homelessness are as complex and varied as the people that it affects as they can result from a range of intersecting social, health and economic-related factors. Some examples of these factors include:

  • Family and/or relationship breakdown
  • Domestic or family violence
  • Physical and/or mental health issues
  • Substance misuse
  • A shortage of affordable housing
  • Increase in living costs
  • Unemployment or job loss 

What can I do if I notice someone who may be sleeping rough in Melton?

Council recognises the rights of all community members to use public spaces, whilst also recognising our responsibility to ensure we have a safe and peaceful community.

There is no enforcement with respect to homelessness. Enforcement will only apply where a law (local or state) has been or is being breached (for example, where there is associated illegal or criminal activity), at which point it becomes a Policing issue.

Our approach to people experiencing homelessness is guided by the principles of ‘Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities’ where people are treated with care, respect, safety and dignity at all times regardless of their circumstances.

Contact us
If you are concerned for someone who might be sleeping rough in Melton, you can notify us of the location online, or you can contact our customer service team on 9747 7200 to provide us with more information. 

Notify us of the location 

If you feel the person may be of danger to themselves or others, or if they have children under the age of 18 years old with them, please call 000.

What happens after the rough sleeping notification is made?
Council, along with a range of service providers, have established a partnership initiative to efficiently respond to rough sleeping throughout our city. Once we receive the notification, we will inform our partnering service providers who will coordinate a visit to the location and engage with the person on their housing and other support needs.    

I'm currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, where can I get help?

If you or someone you know is requiring emergency accommodation assistance or homelessness support, please contact:

The Salvation Army - Western Metro Homelessness Services (primary access and intake point for Melton-Brimbank area)
Open: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 9313 4300
Email: sunshine.iap@salvationarmy.org.au
Address: 6/147 Harvester Road, Sunshine

or the Victorian State-wide Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955 (free call, open 24/7) to be connected with local support services.

What is Council doing in response to homelessness?

Council is committed to preventing, reducing, and responding to homelessness by:

  • providing information to people experiencing homelessness (or at risk of homelessness) about where they can access housing and support services
  • working closely with support service providers to ensure that people requiring assistance are referred to the appropriate services in a timely basis
  • monitoring the extent of homelessness in Melton and advocating for change
  • enhancing community understanding about the causes and impact of homelessness
  • delivering State-funded homelessness program to assist the community 

Other useful resources

Department of Families, Fairness and Housing- Sunshine office
Enquires and information relating to social housing application, tenancy, and bond loan application
Visit: housing.vic.gov.au 
Contact: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing - Sunshine Office 

Tenants Victoria
Tenants Victoria is a support organisation that provides free advice and information to people that are renting residential accommodation in Victoria.
Contact: Tenants Victoria - Contact us 

Material Assistance / Food Relief
Information relating to local agencies that can provide material assistance or food relief within City of Melton.
Contact: Food relief Melton City Council 

Ask Izzy
Ask Izzy is a website where people can access to search for relevant local support services based on their locations.
Contact: askIzzy.org.au