Housing Justice

‘Thank you for all your hard work and encouragement whilst assisting us. Your experience was very much appreciated.’ – Housing Justice client

‘The stress was gone.’ – Housing Justice client

‘Issue was resolved peacefully.’ – Housing Justice client

‘It’s lovely having a nice warm house and the real estate agent is now being super nice.’ – Housing Justice client

Housing Justice is an accredited advocacy and support service for public and private residential tenants living in the Loddon Mallee region. We provide direct services and work with local and state housing networks to advocate for systemic improvements to Victoria’s residential tenancies landscape, especially with regards to housing access and sustainability for our region’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged tenants.

Housing Justice achievements 2015-16

Tenant Services

Housing Justice delivers two key programs: the Social Housing Advocacy and Support Program (SHASP) and the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP). Our SHASP service supports public housing tenants whose tenancies are at risk or who need additional supports to establish a new tenancy. The majority of our SHASP clients are women. They may be dealing with hoarding issues, household stress or family violence. The majority are facing financial difficulties or struggling to maintain the condition of their property. Our TAAP service works with vulnerable
private residential tenants. We may negotiate on behalf of these tenants with their landlords or agents, or we may assist or represent them at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Projects

In addition to these programs, we undertake or contribute to short-term projects. In 2015-16 the City of Greater Bendigo awarded Housing Justice a Community Development Grant. This enabled us to educate and help vulnerable and disadvantaged tenants around home maintenance and rubbish removal and to advocate for support for tenants with these issues. Murray Primary Health Network’s Partners in Recovery program funded Housing Justice to strengthen the relationships between local real estate agents and acute and community mental health services. As part of this project we developed online fact sheets for property managers and tenants, available on our website.

Sector Strengthening and Systemic Advocacy

As well as providing direct services, Housing Justice contributes to relevant housing sector networks. We belong to the two regional homelessness service networks, the statewide TAAP network, the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres’ Tenancy Working Group, and the Partners In Recovery Housing Working Group, which improves housing options for people with severe and persistent mental health issues. Housing Justice’s Manager chairs the state-wide SHASP Managers’ Network and Housing Justice cofacilitates the Loddon Campaspe region’s Hoarding Working Group, which is working to improve service coordination for people dealing with hoarding issues, including animal hoarding and squalor.

For more information about this program, please visit Housing Justice website.

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