Tasmania: Annual Report 2009-10: National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

In December 2008, COAG agreed to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, which commenced on 1 July 2009, and remains in effect until 30 June 2013. The Tasmanian Government approved a Tasmanian Implementation Plan in June 2009, and significant work has been undertaken to progress the initiatives outlined in the Plan.

This report not only covers achievements against the Implementation Plan, but also outlines the contributions made towards the NPAH outcomes from all of the ongoing programs within Housing Tasmania. 

The Tasmanian Implementation Plan provides an additional $9.3 million of Australian Government funds with Tasmania’s contribution of $9.6 million to develop, reform and strengthen homeless services in Tasmania.

A review of the Tasmanian Implementation Plan was undertaken in June 2010 and an updated Plan is under development to reflect variations and progress against initiatives.

Tasmania has undertaken significant planning to establish new initiatives with an emphasis on best practice, research evidence and financial modelling. This will ensure that new initiatives address service gaps, meet client outcomes and are viable within the budget provisions.

There are six major initiatives under the Tasmanian Implementation Plan.

  • The Same House Different Landlord and Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service will be rolled out statewide earlier than planned.
  • The Tasmanian Homelessness Plan 2010-2013: Coming in from the cold has been developed and was released on 24 September 2010. Excellent consultation and input was achieved to gain commitment towards a whole-of-government and community approach.
  • Sites have been determined for all Supported Accommodation Facilities and innovative designs have been agreed. The facilities will provide supported accommodation for more people than anticipated.
  • Planning for sector reforms is in progress and will be a comprehensive component of the Service Coordination and Improvement Program taking into account change management and sector consultation, research evidence, need and gap analysis and specific output development.
  • Activity against the Workforce Capacity Audit and Development Plan will startin 2011-2012, following commencement of sector reforms.

There have been some challenges and barriers to achieving progress. These include capital planning processes and community reaction to the constriction of homelessness facilities, the breadth and complexity associated with sector reforms, and gaps in data availability and ability to measure performance.

Tasmania has established a robust governance structure to support the implementation of Tasmanian initiatives and to ensure inclusive consultation processes, manage issues and risks, ensure appropriate accountability and monitoring, and provide expertise and advice.

Overall, Tasmania is on track to deliver all initiatives within budget by June 2013.

Back to top

Introduction

In December 2008, COAG agreed to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which commenced on 1 July 2009, and remains in effect until 30 June 2013. The Tasmanian Government approved a Tasmanian Implementation Plan in June 2009, and significant work has been undertaken to progress the initiatives outlined in the Plan.

This Annual Report covers Tasmania’s achievements against the outcomes, performance indicators and Implementation Plan for the 2009-2010 period.  The Report outlines progress against the Implementation Plan, as well as outlining the contributions made towards the NPAH outcomes from all of the existing programs within Housing Tasmania. 

Tasmanian Operational Environment

Demographic, Social and Economic Conditions

Population

Tasmania has a small population which has increased slowly with less than one per cent growth each year since 1990. At December 2009 Tasmania’s resident population was estimated to be 505 400, representing a one per cent increase from the previous year 1.

The population is ageing with a median age of 39.6 years in 2009 compared to 37.2 years in 2001 and 35.6 years in 1998 2. Tasmania has the fastest ageing population of any State or Territory in the country. It is estimated that 23 per cent of Tasmanians will be 65 years of age or over by 2021 3, whereas nationally it will take until 2056 to achieve the same rate 4.

Eighty-three per cent of Tasmanian residents were born in Australia 5. Tasmania also has a highly dispersed population with only 42 per cent living in metropolitan areas 6.

Family Structure

While Tasmania’s population growth is stable, the total number of households is increasing. Tasmania has an increasing number of single people living alone, which partly relates to its ageing population. It also has high rates of lone-parent families with young children. In Tasmania, 22.3 per cent of all families with children under 15 years of age are lone-parent families, compared to 21.7 per cent nationally 7.

Tasmania’s average household size of 2.5 is the equal lowest (with South Australia) of all the States and Territories, and is projected to decline to 2.3 by 2031 8.

Housing

Tasmania has experienced significant economic growth over the past 10 years associated with low interest rates and the national housing boom. Whilst this is positive for the State’s future, there are adverse impacts for people on low incomes due to declining housing affordability and an increasing number of households in housing stress.

House purchase in Tasmania appears affordable by comparison with other States and Territories, but increasing house prices have not been matched by equivalent rises in incomes.

Over the past several years, house prices and rental costs have risen significantly. Median house prices in the capital, Hobart, have increased by 39 per cent in the five years from July 2005 to June 2010 (from $264 021 to $366 667). 9 In the same period, private rental costs to rent a three bedroom property in Hobart have increased by around 37 per cent (from $240 to $330 per week). 10

Another key measure of housing affordability is the number of people in housing stress. People are considered to be in housing stress when housing costs represent more than 30 per cent of the household income of those households in the lowest 40 percent of the income distribution.

The 2006 ABS Census showed that over 22 800 Tasmanian households were in housing stress. 11 Groups who are most likely to experience the effects of housing stress are low income earners and people in particular life cycle groups. This includes one-person households, one-parent families, and people over 65 years of age – household types that are disproportionately higher in Tasmania than in other States and Territories.

The implications of the current housing market for the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) are that there are fewer opportunities for people to access affordable housing across tenure types. This is particularly true in relation to the private rental market where the comparatively low rate of private rental accommodation (17.2 per cent) 12 means clients face greater competition when they seek to re-enter the private rental market. This is compounded by the low vacancy levels in the private rental market which are steady at about two per cent. 13

Income

Relative to other States and Territories, Tasmania has a higher proportion of low-income households, long term unemployment, and welfare dependence.

Tasmanian households have the lowest median household income when compared to other States and Territories. At the 2006 Census, the median household income for Tasmania was $801 per week compared to $1 027 nationally 14.

More than a third of Tasmanians (36.6 per cent) rely on government pensions and allowances, which means the jurisdiction has the highest dependency rate on government pensions and allowances, well above the national average of 27.7 per cent 15.

Employment

In past years Tasmania has had high rates of unemployment compared to the rest of the country. In recent years however, Tasmania’s economy has improved significantly, with the result that Tasmania no longer has the highest unemployment rate in the country. In the December 2009 quarter, despite still having the lowest labour force participation rate at 61.3 per cent (compared to 64.5 per cent nationally), Tasmania’s unemployment rate was 4.6 per cent – fourth lowest of all jurisdictions, and below the national average of 5.0 per cent. 16

Almost a quarter of Tasmania’s children (24.4 per cent) are living in families where neither parent is employed. 17

Low labour force participation rates and low incomes impact on the capacity of Tasmanian households to cope with housing and other costs (such as food and utilities) thus increasing the risk of housing stress.

Education

Tasmania is experiencing declining school retention rates. In 2009 Tasmania had the second lowest retention rate from Year 7/8 to Year 12 of all jurisdictions at 63.8 per cent, compared to a national average retention rate of 75.9 per cent. This is linked to a low number of people having a non-school education qualification (such as a certificate, diploma or Bachelor degree). Tasmania has the lowest number of people 25 to 64 years of age with a non-school educational qualification (58.6 per cent compared to a national average of 62.5 per cent). 18

Health and Wellbeing

In general, Tasmanians have poor health status for many health indicators compared to other States and Territories. This includes the second shortest life expectancy, second highest standardised death rate, second highest age standardised rates of ischaemic and other heart disease, highest age standardised rates of disability and arthritis, and equal highest age standardised rate of asthma. 19

The life expectancy of Tasmanians is 77.7 years for males (compared to 79.0 nationally) and 82.4 years for females (compared to 83.7 nationally). 20

Levels of Homelessness

The most recent data available on levels of homelessness in Tasmania is derived from the ABS 2006 national census. It is estimated that on Census night 2006, there were 2 507 homeless people in Tasmania. Of these, 15 per cent or 385 people were living in improvised dwellings or sleeping rough (primary homelessness). An additional 10 per cent were living in boarding houses (tertiary homelessness) and 75 per cent were living in Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) accommodation or with friends or relatives (secondary homelessness). The rate of homelessness in 2006 in Tasmania was  52.6  per 10 000 of the population and was  equal fourth  across jurisdictions (Northern Territory had the highest rate of 248.1, Queensland had 68.6, Western Australia had 68.4, and South Australia also had 52.6). 21

These figures increased slightly from 2001, when 2 415 people in Tasmania were homeless, and 237 people, or 10 per cent, were sleeping rough 22. Tasmania also had the fourth highest rate of homelessness of all jurisdictions in 2001.

In 2006 an estimated 25 per cent of the Tasmanian homeless population were accommodated in SAAP 23. This increased significantly from 13 per cent accommodated in SAAP in 2001 24.

The number of homeless young people aged 12–18 years in 2006 in Tasmania was estimated at 770 25. This was a significant decrease from 1 008 estimated young homeless people in the 2001 Census and is considered to be largely due to increased efforts at early intervention 26.

Back to top

Linkages with other Housing Tasmania Service Systems

Whilst there is a range of national programs operating in Tasmania addressing homelessness, there are three supporting programs within Housing Tasmania that have traditionally supplemented the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS).

  • The SHS Brokerage program is funded by the State Government and provides $400 000 annually to the SHS sector to increase their flexibility and innovative responses to homelessness. Brokerage funds are used in three ways:
    • to prevent homelessness by assisting people to maintain their present accommodation, such as reducing client debt
    • to address homelessness directly by purchasing immediate emergency accommodation in the private market where shelters are either full or an inappropriate option
    • to assist people who have been accommodated in shelters move into independent accommodation by purchasing necessary furniture and appliances to re-establish themselves appropriately.
  • The SHS Brokerage program plays a critical role in minimising blockages within the SHS service system by reducing the number of people who need shelter accommodation, and increasing the throughput of the shelters by providing alternative supported accommodation where needed, and by enabling people who no longer need sheltered accommodation to become independent.
  • The Private Rental Support Scheme (PRSS) targets people experiencing difficulties accessing or maintaining private rental accommodation and is funded jointly by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments. Similar to the SHS Brokerage program, the Scheme averts homelessness by providing one-off financial assistance with bond, rent in advance, rent arrears, removals, and non-financial support to people on low incomes. In 2008 the Scheme was expanded by broadening the eligibility criteria and now includes intensive tenancy assistance packages.
  • The Private Rental Tenancy Support Service (PRTSS) is also funded by the Tasmanian Government and  provides support, information, advocacy and skill development for tenants in private rental. As for the PRSS, the program recognizes that the maintenance of private tenancies is an important prop to prevent homelessness.

Back to top

Overview of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS)

The SHS service system in Tasmania is based on a locally developed model known as the Integrated Continuum of Support (ICOS). This was introduced statewide in 2001 and has a number of important features:

  • an integrated service system within each of the three regions of the state
  • a clearly defined set of service types detailing service specifications and functions
  • an equitable funding rationale based on input unit-costs
  • proportional regional funding based on regional populations.

The integration of services within each region has been crucial in providing increased flexibility and better services to clients. Rather than each service trying to provide the full range of services itself, the modular nature of the service system requires services to work collaboratively in providing joint support for clients. Different agencies focus on different aspects of the client’s needs.

For example, accommodation needs are handled separately  from a client’s support needs and involve different agencies. This means that the support is independent of where the accommodation is provided and hence the support can follow the client wherever they are located. In practice this means that the same worker who initially assessed the client can continue to support them until they are eventually established in independent accommodation.

In order to achieve this seamless support, each region has a range of services that focus on the provision of Immediate Emergency Accommodation for specific target groups. Each region also has front-end services that provide Case Planning and Support functions that assess clients and then maintain the support until they are established in independent accommodation. To ensure that all clients are catered for, the Transitional Support services provide support to clients who present directly to the shelters, and therefore may have bypassed the front-end Case Planning and Support services. The following table provides an outline of the current service system.

Region Service Type* Number of services Services per region
South Case Planning and Support 3 15
Immediate Emergency Accommodation 6
Supervised Supported Accommodation for Young People 2
Adolescent Community Placements 1
Transitional Support 3
North Case Planning and Support 1 7
Immediate Emergency Accommodation 4
Adolescent Community Placements 1
Transitional Support 1
Northwest Case Planning and Support 3 8
Immediate Emergency Accommodation 4
Adolescent Community Placements 1
* Economies of scale mean that some service types have been merged in some regions

As well as the 30 traditional ICOS services outlined in the table above, there are six other services that are funded under the SHS program.  This includes a Prisoner Transitional Support program, established in 2008 under the SAAP ‘Innovation and Investment’ fund, which engages prisoners prior to their release to maximise their transition to independent living once released. There are also four counselling and support services (which were historically funded by SAAP and continue to be funded by the National Affordable Housing Agreement), and one service which addresses the training needs of the sector.

Back to top

NPAH Outcomes

A number of objectives, outcomes and outputs are outlined for the Agreement.  Clause 14 stipulates the four outcomes that the Agreement will contribute to: 

  1. Fewer people will become homeless and fewer of these will sleep rough;
  2. Fewer people will become homeless more than once;
  3. People at risk of or experiencing homelessness will maintain or improve connections with their families and communities, and maintain or improve their education, training or employment participation; and
  4. People at risk of or experiencing homelessness will be supported by quality services, with improved access to sustainable housing.

Tasmanian Activities

As outlined in the Introduction, Tasmania has a number of programs aimed at addressing homelessness.  The Tasmanian Government committed to halving the number of people sleeping rough to 193 by December 2010.  Combined with the introduction of the NPAH, there has been an even stronger focus within our housing and homelessness programs in prioritising homeless or at risk of homelessness clients.

As well as the established programs, an environmental scan was conducted to develop a number of new initiatives that could further reduce the homelessness problem in Tasmania.  This scan resulted in the development of six major initiatives under the Tasmanian Implementation Plan to address pressure points and gaps:

  1. The Same House Different Landlord program will provide tenancy and property management services to 100 new dwellings statewide.
  2. Dedicated teams of support staff will be established statewide under the Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service to primarily support tenants of the Same House Different Landlord Program.
  3. Five new Supported Accommodation Facilities will be established.  One will be in the North West, two in the North and two in the South.  One of the northern facilities will specifically target young people.
  4. Service Coordination and Improvement Program will enhance linkages across housing, homelessness and mainstream services. This suite of activities will include common assessment, a common wait list and an allocations framework.
  5. A Workforce Capacity Audit and Development Plan will be developed to support the quality delivery of homelessness services. This initiative will be progressed in 2011-2012.
  6. A Tasmanian Homelessness Plan will be developed.

Impacts on outcomes

(a)     Fewer people will become homeless and fewer of these will sleep rough

Contributing activities:

195 additional places of accommodation will be provided by December 2010 including:

  • Supported Residential Facilities:
    • Bilton Lodge 35
    • Bayview Lodge 30
  • existing Specialist Homelessness Services 30
    • =
  • Same House Different Landlord 100.

Service Coordination and Improvement Program (SCIP):

  • The Service Integration Assessment Project will:
    • develop frameworks for early identification and assessment of homelessness within mainstream services
  • Develop a Common Assessment Framework to enhance service coordination and improve early identification and assessment of homelessness within housing and homelessness services
  • The Coordinated Access Project will:
    • Undertake a review of exit-planning, referrals and information sharing between mainstream organisations to reduce the risk of people being exited/released into homelessness from mainstream services.
    • Develop a mainstream services’ practice guide for exit-planning to contribute to “no exits into homelessness".

Consider options for coordinated access points to improve entry and access to housing and homelessness services across Tasmania for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.As well as these Specialist Homelessness Services, existing assessment frameworks for allocations to public housing are designed to ensure households that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness are prioritised.  During 2009-2010, 729 (79.1 per cent) of households were identified in these categories at the time of allocation.

(b)    Fewer people will become homeless more than once

Contributing activities:

By December 2010, the Same House Different Landlord program will provide 100 additional long term units of accommodation for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Supported Residential Facilities (Bilton Lodge and Bayview Lodge) provide medium to long term accommodation. This includes people who are on low incomes and/or homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Service Coordination and Improvement Program activities that will contribute to fewer people becoming homeless more than once include:Z

  • Development of a Common Assessment Framework and Tool for housing and homelessness services
  • Development of improved exit-planning, referral and information sharing processes for mainstream services.

(c)     People at risk of or experiencing homelessness will maintain or improve connections with their families and communities, and maintain or improve their education, training or employment participation

Contributing activities:

The Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service (SITS) was established to provide intensive support to people leaving institutions or state care who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This involves intensive case management including establishing connections with families and communities, as well as education, training and employment.

(d)    People at risk of or experiencing homelessness will be supported by quality services, with improved access to sustainable housing

Contributing activities:

Housing Tasmania has been involved in the development of the National Quality Framework. This has involved assisting in the consultation process for Stage 1 involving mainstream and Specialist Homelessness Services.

The Service Coordination and Improvement Program will undertake a review of the support and accommodation assistance service system, which will include:

  • analysis of the core client groups and their different support and accommodation assistance needs – demographic and community profiling
  • mapping and analysis of the current support and accommodation assistance products and service system, to identify service gaps and duplications
  • development of an integrated support and accommodation assistance service system model so that it is:
    • easier for people to use and access
    • more responsive to a broader range of people’s needs
    • aligned to the national and state reform objectives, and
    • more efficient in its operations
  • development of the underpinning business processes and tools to support the new support and accommodation assistance service system model.  development of coordinated access points to housing and homelessness services
  • These initiatives will contribute to:
    • improved coordination, provision and access to housing and homelessness services and products
    • consistency in approach to risk and need assessments
    • consistency in approach to housing allocations.

These Service Coordination and Improvement Program activities will ensure better matching of products to need and clients to products.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) contracted Quality Management Services (QMS) to implement a review program to assess the former SAAP funded organisations in relation to the Tasmanian SAAP Standards. In order to achieve this, the SAAP Standards were mapped against the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) Core Module. Where necessary, additional evidence questions and two additional standards have been added to ensure the QIC Standards accurately and comprehensively reflect the Tasmanian SAAP Standards. The organisations have been reviewed according to the QIC review protocols.

QMS commenced working with  over 30 SAAP sector providers in July 2006. Since this time, organisations have participated in training, undertaken the process of self-assessment, undergone an external review against the standards, received a comprehensive report with recommendations for continuous improvement and commenced development and implementation of Quality Workplans. QMS has been engaged by DHHS for a further two years to continue to work with and support Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) to achieve all QIC standards and to continue to develop continuous improvement within organisations.

Back to top

Performance Indicators

There are 11 performance indicators that have been established for the NPAH.  Of these, only five have performance benchmarks developed, with the remaining six still under development. 

Even though five of the indicators have a performance benchmark, no exact measures have yet been developed and provided to the jurisdictions for reporting.  This being the case, the 2009-2010 report cannot include reporting against the Performance Indicators outlined in the Agreement.  However, these have been included in the Performance Reporting for future reporting against the NPAH.

Implementation Plan Activity Details

Six major initiatives have been developed under the Tasmanian Implementation Plan to address pressure points and gaps.  This section will provide more detailed information about these activities, including performance reporting as appropriate.

Initiative 1 – Same House Different Landlord

Description

The Same House Different Landlord Program (the Program) is managed by Colony 47 and will provide property and tenancy management of dwellings allocated to eligible tenants. Property and tenancy management will be provided for 100 properties statewide.

The dwellings will be owned by Housing Tasmania and funded under the Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan, National Affordable Housing Agreement and Housing Affordability Fund.

Tenants of the Program will be supported by the Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service (SITS).

Activity locations

This initiative will provide 25 properties in each of the four Tasmanian regions (North West, North, South East and South West).

Date activity will become operational

The Program will commence statewide in October 2010. There will be an incremental roll out of properties within each region and it is anticipated that the Program will be fully operational by December 2010.

Target group

Clients must be from one of the target groups and demonstrate all of the areas of need to be eligible for the Program:

Target Group - Clients Need
Leaving youth correction facilities Multiple and complex needs:
  • experiencing family violence or breakdown
  • mental health issues
  • trauma
  • problem alcohol and other drug use
  • intellectual disability, cognitive impairment and/or acquired brain injury
Repeat episodes of homelessness or significant risk of homelessness
People apparently without the living skills to sustain independent tenancies

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators in relation to the consumer are:

  • improve stability of tenure for people at risk or experiencing homelessness through the provision of stable housing coupled with support for the duration of need
  • improve participation in training, education and employment for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness
  • improve connections with family and community by people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • improve health and wellbeing for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Targets and measures

In collaboration with SITS, the achievement of the purpose of the Program and/or consumer outcomes will be monitored by reference to the following measures:

  • the number of families who maintain or secure safe and sustainable housing following family violence
  • the number of people exiting care and custodial settings into secure and affordable housing
  • the number of people exiting social housing and private rental into homelessness
  • the proportion of people experiencing repeat periods of homelessness.

The Program will collect data and provide reports consistent with the national data collection for community managed housing (Community Managed Housing Administrative Data Survey).

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

The main challenge associated with the Same House Different Landlord Program is identifying appropriate properties. Properties need to be well located near services and public transport, be in small clusters (no more than three) or independent units, and be located close to major towns or cities. Additionally, properties need to be appropriate for the individual client’s needs. This is challenging without clients being identified as yet.

There will also be the challenge of developing appropriate business processes to identify replacement properties for the program to ensure that the timing aligns of when a client is identified and a property becomes available.

Successes

In the Tasmanian Implementation Plan it was outlined that there would be a staged roll out of the Program within different areas at different timeframes (Phase 1 in the North and South East areas in March 2010.  Phase 2 in the North West and South West areas in January 2011).

Comprehensive planning for the Program has meant that the Program can be rolled out fully earlier than anticipated. The Program will commence in October 2010 and be fully operational in December 2010.

There has been significant interest in the Program (along with SITS) from the media, relevant agencies, service providers and potential clients.

Back to top

Initiative 2 – Supported Accommodation Facilities

Description

This initiative was called ‘Dedicated Homelessness Facilities’ within the Tasmanian Implementation Plan. A broader term ‘Supported Accommodation Facilities’ is now being used. This is more conducive to the intent of the model and has been more positively received by the community.

Five new Supported Accommodation Facilities will be established across Tasmania.

Activity locations

The five new facilities will be located at:

  • Hobart – Liverpool Street (managed by Common Ground Tasmania)
  • Hobart – Campbell Street (managed by Common Ground Tasmania)
  • Launceston – Thistle Street
  • Launceston – York Street (youth facility)
  • Ulverstone – Grove Street

The Campbell Street and Liverpool Street models will be managed by Common Ground Tasmania.

The management of the Grove Street, Thistle Street and York Street models will be through an open competitive tender process.

Date activity will become operational

The approximate date that the facilities will become operational are as follows:

Facility Date Operational
Hobart – Liverpool Street December 2011
Hobart – Campbell Street February 2012
Launceston – Thistle Street June 2011
Launceston – York Street (youth facility) July 2011
Ulverstone – Grove Street March 2011

Target group

The facilities will be mixed models for people who are on low incomes and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The mixed model will also include varying levels of support requirements (low, medium and high support).

The Liverpool Street models will provide 12 units for homeless people and additional independent units.

The Campbell Street models will provide 25 units for homeless people and additional independent units.

The Launceston facility for young people will be a site in York Street (Thyne House). Up to 30 self contained units will be provided for young people between 16 and 25 years of age.  This will be for low income wage earners and young people coming in from the country to work and further their studies, as well as for those young people who need tailored and specific support.

The Thistle Street, Launceston and Grove Street, Ulverstone facilities will each provide mixed models of 20 units of accommodation for people on low incomes and/or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators for this initiative include:

  • reduced levels of homelessness within Tasmania
  • improved stability of tenure
  • improved participation in training, education and employment
  • improved connections with family and community
  • improved health and wellbeing for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Targets and measures

Program and/or consumer outcomes will be monitored by reference to the following measures:

  • the number of families who maintain or secure safe and sustainable housing following family violence
  • the number of people exiting care and custodial settings into secure and affordable housing
  • the number of people exiting social housing and private rental into homelessness
  • the proportion of people experiencing repeat periods of homelessness.

The Program will collect data and provide reports consistent with the national data collection for community managed housing (Community Managed Housing Administrative Data Survey) and Specialist Homelessness Services National Minimum Data Set.

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

There have been some delays in achieving community support and planning approvals that have resulted in delays in achieving the timeframes and targets of the initiative.

Successes

Tasmania has made excellent progress in determining appropriate sites for each facility and progressing capital development, including innovative designs and engagement of contractors.

Common Ground Tasmania Limited was established in 2008 by the Tasmanian Government and a group of influential local business leaders. Common Ground Tasmania Limited will lead the development and implementation of the two Hobart facilities.

Back to top

Initiative 3 – Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service

Description

The Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service (SITS) is managed by Centacare in partnership with Australian Red Cross. SITS will provide intensive specialist interventions to people who are at risk of homelessness due to multiple or complex needs.

Clients may be exiting statutory or institutional care or experiencing chronic homelessness. The primary aim of the Service is that clients develop skills that enable them to sustain their tenancies, live independently and connect with families, the community and social and economic networks within approximately two years.

The Service will be provided by a multidisciplinary support team and will primarily provide intensive specialist interventions to clients of the new Same House Different Landlord program.

In addition, four Advanced Practitioner positions will be established to support public housing tenants with complex or multiple needs, and to support SITS clients to transition into alternative social housing after 24 months of support.

 

Activity locations

This Service will provide support to 100 clients located within 25 properties in each of the four Tasmanian regions (North West, North, South East and South West).

Date activity will become operational

The Service has commenced recruitment of staff, development of business processes and considering referrals. There will be intake processes and acceptance of clients in October 2010.

Target group

Clients must be from one of the target groups and demonstrate all of the areas of need to be eligible for the Service:

Target Group - Clients Need
Leaving youth correction facilities Multiple and complex needs:
  • experiencing family violence or breakdown
  • mental health issues
  • trauma
  • problem alcohol and other drug use
  • intellectual disability, cognitive impairment and/or acquired brain injury

Repeat episodes of homelessness or significant risk of homelessness
People apparently without the living skills to sustain independent tenancies

Leaving child protection
Leaving gaol
Leaving residential health facilities (including hospitals)
Homeless or at risk of homelessness

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

The Performance Indicators for the Service are to:

  • improve clients’ skills to be able to live independently
  • improve the stability of tenure in accommodation appropriate to client needs
  • reduce the risk of return into homelessness
  • reduce the risk of return into statutory and institutional care
  • increase connections with family and community
  • increase participation in training, education and employment
  • improve access to health and social services.

Targets and measures

The achievement of the purpose of the Service and/or consumer outcomes will be monitored by reference to the following measures:

  • Outcome 1 (clients are assessed and supported according to their need): Proportion of SITS clients' assessed support needs that were met
  • Outcome 2 (clients requiring accommodation are accommodated): Proportion of housing/accommodation services needed by SITS clients that were met.

The Service is also required to report on client management data. This may include but is not limited to:

  • current homelessness data
  • current administrative and activity data
  • core client demographic data and throughput activity, including accommodation prior to accessing service and destination on exit.

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

It will be a significant challenge to establish good business processes, particularly in regard to interactions with other Agencies with common clients. It will be important to reduce service gaps and avoid duplication. Many clients with complex needs have a number of case managers and the roles and responsibilities of these case managers and SITS will need to be clear to ensure good outcomes for clients. There are significant consultations taking place with many relevant agencies to develop clear business processes and protocols.

Clear linkages will also need to be established with the Same House Different Landlord Program. There will also be the challenge of developing appropriate business processes to identify replacement properties for the program to ensure that the timing aligns of when a client is identified and a property becomes available.

Successes

In the Tasmanian Implementation Plan it was outlined that there would be a staged roll out of the Service within different areas at different timeframes (Phase 1 in the North and South East areas in 2009‑10.  Phase 2 in the North West and South West areas in 2010-11). However, given the comprehensive planning that has occurred, the Service can be rolled out fully earlier than anticipated. The Service will commence in July 2010.

There has been significant interest in the Service (along with the Same House Different Landlord Program) from the media, relevant agencies, service providers and potential clients. Relevant agencies are keen to refer their clients and it appears that there will be a significant demand for the Service.

Initiative 4 – Service Coordination and Improvement Program

Description

The Service Coordination and Improvement Program is a suite of activities aimed at improving and integrating the entire homelessness and support service system, contributing to successful outcomes in all homelessness initiatives under the Tasmanian Homelessness Implementation Plan, and improving service coordination and engagement of mainstream services to ensure a seamless pathway through social housing.  

Activity locations

The Program is not geographically based. Instead, it involves a suite of activities across housing, homelessness and mainstream services to be delivered statewide.  These activities are aimed at addressing the objectives of the housing and homelessness reform agenda, statewide.

Date activity will become operational

The Program has commenced with planning, development and implementation of key components expected to span over the life of the NPAH.  It is anticipated that service coordination and improvement processes and practices will extend beyond June 2013.

Target group

There will be a focus on service system reform across the homelessness and social housing system. Additionally, there will be linkages with mainstream services and their response to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

The Performance Indicators for the SCIP are:

  • improved linkages, coordination and service provision for housing, homelessness and mainstream services
  • improved early identification, prevention and responses to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness through:
    • common assessment processes and practices
    • shared allocations processes
    • a common housing register for community and public housing services
    • proactive referrals from mainstream services
    • improved information sharing between organisations through shared systems, processes, tools and integrated approaches
  • improved and coordinated exit-planning for clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, from mainstream services to housing and support services
  • improved and coordinated access to the support and accommodation assistance service system for people who are homeless or at risk
  • better matching of housing and support  services to client needs for the duration of need
  • improved access by Aboriginal people to mainstream services
  • reduced duplication and inefficiencies in service provision within the support and accommodation assistance service system.

Targets and measures

Targets and measures are not yet developed.

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

This initiative is proving to be challenging in relation to the size and effort required to progress service reforms and achieve intended outputs. This will require a comprehensive change management strategy to ensure appropriate support from key stakeholders.

Ensuring linkages and coordination with mainstream services will also be a challenge. This may require some levers (such as formal protocols or Memorandums of Understanding) to gain commitment.

Successes

Significant work has taken place to scope the program and its four key projects, and develop project plans to ensure that whole of housing and homelessness system reform is achieved, along with the above mentioned outputs.

This is supported by a comprehensive governance structure including the National Agreements Steering Committee, an internal program team within Housing Tasmania and internal and external reference groups.

The project incorporates significant planning to ensure effective consultation with key stakeholders, and change management to establish awareness and understanding of the need for reform, and then gain support and commitment towards the development and implementation of the reform.

Initiative 5 – Tasmanian Homelessness Plan

Description

The Tasmanian Homelessness Plan 2010-2013: Coming in from the cold is a whole-of-government and community approach to prevent and respond to homelessness.

The Plan requires significant commitment from a range of organisations including the Australian Government, Tasmanian Government, local government, Specialist Homelessness Services and peak bodies.

There is a comprehensive suite of actions based on key themes that arise through consultation:

  • increasing the supply of affordable housing
  • providing new support services
  • engaging the mainstream service system
  • improving service coordination
  • improving assessment referral and discharge planning
  • improving inter-agency collaboration.

These themes can be summarised into three priorities of reform: new supply, new services and new ways of working.

Activity locations

The Plan has an extensive range of actions that include national, statewide and regional actions and/or service system reforms.

Date activity did become operational

The Plan was launched on 24 September 2010. Actions have commenced from July 2010.

Target group

There is a range of target groups within the Plan. Whilst there is a focus on people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, there are also broader actions for people who are disadvantaged and/or on low incomes.

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

Monitoring and reporting for Coming in from the cold will involve a number of approaches to measure the successful implementation and outcomes. This will include:

  • reporting against Performance Indicators as outlined in the NPAH. This will be undertaken by Housing Tasmania on an annual basis
  • a Mid-Term Report will be prepared on achievement against the actions outlined in Coming in from the cold , and  against specific indicators or milestones developed by the lead organisation to support implementation. Some actions include evaluation and/or action research components. This Mid-Term Report will be completed around December 2011 and will be  publicly available
  • an Evaluation Report will be provided in June 2013 at the conclusion of Coming in from the cold reporting on the outcomes and this will also be made publicly available.

Targets and measures

See Performance Indicators above.

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

It was not viable to include all 200 potential actions identified through the consultation process within the Plan. Identifying which actions are most achievable in relation to preventing and reducing homelessness and address priority objectives and commitments constitutes was a significant challenge.

A significant number of the potential actions fall within the areas of responsibility of a number of different Australian and Tasmanian Government Departments, and local Councils, and could only be included in the Plan if those organisations committed to those actions.

Actions could also only be included within the Plan if they could be undertaken within existing resources, or were funded.

Successes

The consultation process for the development of the Plan was held with key stakeholders and involved three regional public consultation sessions attended by over 100 participants, 10 written submissions and 18 targeted meetings.

There was an excellent response and interest in consultation process and over 200 potential actions were identified.

The engagement of a broad range of representatives across the government and non-government sectors demonstrates the success of the message that homelessness is a whole-of-government and community responsibility. Further, the high level response from all levels of Government demonstrates the potential for engaging mainstream services in addressing homelessness.

Initiative 6 – Workforce Capacity Audit and Development Plan

Description

A Workforce Capacity Audit and Development Planwill be developed to support the quality delivery of homelessness services. This initiative will be progressed in 2011-2012 following the development and implementation of service reforms, and identification of sector workforce needs. This is consistent with the intent as outlined in the Tasmanian Implementation Plan.

National Initiative – Specialist Homelessness Services Data Collection

Description

The AIHW, in conjunction with the States and Territories, has been developing a new National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) to support the reporting requirements of the NPAH and NAHA.  The collection of the data will commence on 1 July 2011.  The NMDS will be supported by a new national reporting portal and client management system (CMS) to facilitate more timely collection, assessment and reporting of data in this sector.

Tasmania is involved in the development and implementation of the systems through the Housing and Homelessness Information Management Group and the Homelessness Data Project Board.

The States and Territories will be responsible for:

  • gathering requirements and current situation reports on their sectors for inclusion in the planning phase
  • developing jurisdictional implementation plans
  • assisting in the development of the functional requirements and endorsing the CMS selection
  • advising AIHW of training requirements, form requirements and data migration requirements for the implementation of the system
  • providing communication to the sector, including briefings and all training sessions
  • providing ongoing support to the sector post-implementation

Activity locations

The collection will impact on all current and future SHS service providers statewide. 

Date activity will become operational

The new data collection is due to commence on 1 July 2011.  It is planned that the new CMS will be delivered to coincide with this timeline.

Target group

There will be a focus on reporting reform across the entire SHS sector.

Case study

There are no case studies available as yet.

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators for the project will be outlined in the implementation plan.   The continuing success of this initiative will be measured through the ability of agencies to meet the national reporting requirements of the SHS Data Collection.

Targets and measures

Targets and measures for the project will be outlined in the implementation plan.  The continuing success of this initiative will be measured through the ability of agencies to meet the national reporting requirements of the SHS Data Collection.

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and highlights

Challenges and barriers

The timeframe for this initiative is extremely ambitious and does not allow for any delays.  Given that this is an IT systems project there is every chance that things will not go to plan.

There are considerable changes affecting this sector in the 2010-2011 financial year, and this is yet another one that will be imposed upon them within a short timeframe.  Further to this, many of the new initiatives involve the same staff in Housing Tasmania, so there will be a challenge to resource all of them appropriately.

The sector is yet to be fully engaged in this initiative, therefore they do not currently have any ownership or buy in to the changes.

There are some significant challenges in training and support that need to be addressed to ensure that every agency has fully trained and knowledgeable staff to run this system as at 1 July 2011.

One of the drivers of this initiative was to provide States and Territories with the new SHS Data Collection raw data, for performance management and validation purposes.  Because of the limited timeframes of the project it has been agreed that a centralised model will be developed which poses a considerable barrier to States and Territories accessing these data sets, and will thus limit the ability to performance manage and validate the data.

Opportunities and highlights

The National Minimum Data Set has been developed and signed off, this is a major piece of the conceptual work and allows manual reporting to be implemented even if the CMS delivery is delayed.

A detailed functional requirement document has been developed and the project is on track to enter the tender process on time.

The project incorporates a change management strategy that is focused on ensuring effective consultation with key stakeholders to work in with their requirements and ensure that they understand the reasons for the change and the benefits that will come from it.

Tasmania will pursue the opportunity of altering the consent model at a State level to ensure that access can be granted to the SHS Data Collection for performance management and timely analysis of the sector.

Back to top

Key Priorities 2010-2011

Key priorities for 2010-11 for initiatives of the Tasmanian Implementation Plan include:

Same House Different Landlord and Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service:

  • establishing business processes between the programs and referring organisations
  • incremental roll out of 100 properties until December 2010 and assessment and allocation of tenants to the properties
  • monitoring the implementation of the initiatives
  • development of an action research strategy for client outcomes.

Tasmanian Homelessness Plan 2010-2013: Coming in from the cold:

  • establishing business processes for the implementation and monitoring of initiatives with the range of lead and partner organisations
  • development of an evaluation strategy for the Plan.

Supported Accommodation Facilities:

  • completion of capital works
  • development of service specifications in consultation with the Reference Group on Homelessness
  • procurement processes and development of Funding Agreements with providers
  • establishing business processes with relevant organisations
  • development of an action research strategy for client outcomes.

Service Coordination and Improvement Program:

  • research, analysis and consultation with relevant stakeholders to inform service system redesign and Program outputs
  • development and implementation of a common assessment framework and tools
  • development and implementation of a common wait list (Tasmanian Housing Register).

Specialist Homelessness Services Data Collection (in conjunction with AIHW):

  • delivery of a new National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) to support more detailed reporting requirements under the SHS Data Collection
  • delivery of a collection portal to facilitate timely (monthly) reporting at a national level
  • delivery of a client management system (CMS) to replace the current SMART system and work with the new reporting requirements.

Appendix A Performance reporting

Performance Indicator Baseline Performance Benchmark Result and Comment
Proportion of Australians who are homeless 9,531 Indigenous people are homeless
104,676 Australians who are homeless
(ABS Census 2006)
By 2013, a decrease of  7 per cent the number of Australians who are homeless to less than 97,350 people
By 2013,  a decrease of a third to 6,300 Indigenous Australians who are homeless
(ABS Census 2011)
This is a national measure collected during census
Proportion of Australians who are experiencing primary homelessness (rough sleeping) Eight people per 10,000
16,375 Australians rough sleeping or equivalent measures of 8 homeless people sleeping rough per 10,000 population
(ABS Census 2006)
A decrease by 25 per cent the number of Australians sleeping rough to less than 12,300 people or equivalent measure of 6 homeless people sleeping rough per 10,000 population
(ABS Census 2011)
This is a national measure collected during census
The number of families who maintain or secure safe and sustainable housing following family violence Interim Measure: 42,000 SAAP(a) support periods(b) for women and women with children To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet defined
Increase in the number of people exiting care and custodial settings into secure and affordable housing Interim Measure:
4,736 SAAP(a) support periods(b)
The number of people released from such institutions into homelessness is reduced by 25 per cent (3,552) by 2013 Measure not yet defined
Reduce the number of people exiting social housing and private rental into homelessness. 4,037 SAAP(a) support periods(b) The number of people exiting from social housing and private rental to homelessness is reduced by less than 25 per cent (3,027) by 2013 Measure not yet defined
The proportion of people experiencing repeat periods of homelessness 14,800 SAAP(a) clients required three or more support periods(b) in a 12 month period 25 per cent reduction (13,700) in three repeat periods of homelessness at an emergency service in 12 months Measure not yet defined
Number of young people (12 to 18 years) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who are re-engaged with family, school and work To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet developed
Number of children (under 12 years) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who are provided with additional support to maintain contact with their school. To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet developed
Number of families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who receive financial advice, counselling and/or case management. To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet developed
Number of people who are homeless or at risk who are provided with legal services To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet developed
Number of staff of specialist homeless services provided with formal training and development opportunities To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans To be developed and agreed prior to finalisation of the Implementation Plans Measure not yet developed

 

 

 


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010. Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2009. Cat No 3101.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010. Australian Social Trends, June 2010. Cat No 4102. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Population Projections, Tasmania, 1999 to 2101. Cat No 3222.6. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101. Cat No 3222.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  5. Derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2007. Census of Population and Housing 2006. Cat No 2068.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  6. Derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010.Australian Demographic Statistics December 2009. Cat. No 3101.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Tables 4 and 5.
  7. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008. Australian Social Trends, 2008. Cat No 4102. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Tables 1 and 2.6.
  8. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010. Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2031. Cat No 3236.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  9. Real Estate Institute of Tasmania, The Tasmanian Property Market, July 2005 and June 2010.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2006. Census of Population and Housing 2006. Cat No 2068.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  12. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Australian Social Trends, December 2009 Cat No 4102.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  13. Real Estate Institute of Tasmania. The Tasmanian Property Market, June 2010.
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2006. Census of Population and Housing 2006. Cat No 2068.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  15. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2006. Australian Social Trends, 2006. Cat No 4102.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, p141.
  16. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Australian Social Trends, December 2009. Cat No 4102.0.Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  17. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2006. Australian Social Trends, 2006. Cat No 4102.0.Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, p33.
  18. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010. Australian Social Trends, June 2010. Cat No 4102.0.Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  19. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Australian Social Trends, September 2009. Cat No 4102.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Counting the Homeless Australia 2006. Cat No 2050.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  22. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003. Counting the Homeless 2001 Cat No 2050.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Table 7.
  23. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Counting the Homeless Australia 2006. Cat No 2050.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid
  26. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003. Counting the Homeless 2001 Cat No 2050.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.

Back to top

Content Updated: 25 May 2012