Homelessness Prevention and Early Intervention Interagency
About the Group
The Homelessness Prevention & Early Intervention (HOPE) Interagency is a coalition of Blue Mountains' NGOs, local Council, community groups, faith-based groups and State/Commonwealth government agencies with an interest in preventing homelessness, and improving housing affordability (both rental and purchase) in the Blue Mountains.
HOPE fully supports the following five key national priorities to ease housing stress in Australia:
- Making housing affordability a key goal of all Governments
- Increase rent assistance for struggling renters
- Build more affordable housing
- A fairer tax system (specifically, changing the tax breaks for housing investors, such as negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts; and assisting state governments to abolish stamp duty and introduce a broad-based land tax), and
- Support for first home buyers – that doesn't push up house prices.
Our goals are consistent with the current Commonwealth and State Government policy and strategic intent (The Road Home, the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and the Going Home, Staying Home reforms); in addition, we go further to advocate:
- Improved access to housing and support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness (‘housing first’)
- Intervention earlier to prevent homelessness where possible, and
- ‘Wrap around’ service support to restore housing stability.
In 2015 the HOPE Steering Group (a coalition of Blue Mountains' agencies - including ‘The Platform’ youth accommodation and support services; Youth Accommodation Information Network (YAIN); and Wentworth Community Housing, the local housing provider, BM Family Support Services, Blue Mountains City Council, MCRN, DHS/Centrelink, and the BM Tenants' Advice & Advocacy Service) finalised a position paper:
The HOPE Interagency believes that there are a number of (generally) relatively low-cost/no-cost options which, if implemented, could significantly improve the housing situation in the Blue Mountains. The longer-term intention was to expand the group to form a fully-fledged Interagency, to ensure that all key players are ‘in the tent' – this was achieved in late 2015.
The HOPE Interagency is planning to partner in 2016 with Blue Mountains City Council to develop a Housing Strategy for the Mountains.
How often: The Homelessness Prevention and Early Intervention Interagency meets quarterly.
Where: The MCRN Meeting Room, Lawson.