Breaking: Launch Housing pauses hotel exits into homelessness

8.12.2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This morning RAHU has seen email evidence from Launch Housing stating they have decided hotel exits will be paused for “breathing space” until January 2021.

RAHU welcomes this move, and acknowledges the bravery of frontline support workers and rough sleepers who shared stories that made this happen. This recent announcement meets the basic decency of not evicting people into homelessness over the holiday period, yet further measures are still needed into 2021.

RAHU calls on the Victorian Government to:

  1. Ensure housing for all people experiencing homelessness who have been accommodated during Victoria’s hard lockdown in hotels.
  2. Continue funding hotel emergency accommodation for those who are waiting on housing allocations, especially in circumstances where rooming houses are not available or unsuitable when their ‘exit date’ comes. 
  3. Provide safe and affordable alternatives to congregate hotel settings for those who need them, notably women, LGBTQIA community and people experiencing violence  
  4. Enact systemic change in the response to homelessness that removes private rooming houses as a housing option, and holds community rooming houses to a much higher standard, with greater supervision and oversight by Government and/or Councils
  5. All homelessness sector organisations to protect and support their workers’ employment

Quotes attributable to RAHU Member Support workers 

This is the result of rough sleepers and support workers taking a risk by standing together without the support of our employers/ housing providers or the Victorian Government. 

The government are giving 1,200 support packages, however there are 2,500 people in hotels. We want reassurance that the remaining 1,300 people won’t be forced to sleep rough, and back into precarity

We are stronger together and we’ll keep proving that over again as we continue the fight for safe, affordable housing for all of us. 

Quotes attributable to Russell – RAHU Member with no fixed address

The homeless sector has 7 weeks from now to provide permanent accommodation after January. They have taken the responsibility to provide secure housing. These services have from now until then to actively start transition people into safe and stable accommodation

The government is quite happy to keep funding private hotels, but they won’t give the homeless sector the means and resources to really house people into safe and stable long term accommodation. 

The hotel accommodation is still a few days at a time, there’s no stability there. We need to have safe and stable accommodation past the emergency hotel period, that’s the only way the Victorian government can call this a success.

There’s heaps of houses empty, and the government could do it. They have 7 weeks to work out how. 

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The Renters And Housing Union (VIC) is a member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing, formed out of the rent strike as a response to the COVID19 crisis. We collectively organise for the right to safe and secure housing through self-advocacy, education, and frontline eviction defence.      

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