New program to increase housing options

Bethany Community Support Inc has joined forces with Haven; Home, Safe (HHS) to create Housing Direct, a new program which will increase the supply of affordable housing options for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Housing Direct will see HHS provide five homes across the Geelong area, with Bethany providing case management support to enable the clients to sustain their housing and create connections to their local community.

The program, planned to commence next month, aims to increase access to affordable housing for low-income Victorians by providing a range of supports, including a direct pathway to long-term housing, for people experiencing homelessness.

HHS Chief Operations Officer Trudi Ray said Housing Direct would help alleviate the bottleneck experienced by homelessness services in their emergency, refuge, short-term and transitional accommodation.

“People receiving support through the Housing Direct program will see an improvement in their financial stability, as well as their ability to focus on their health and connectedness to community, family and friends,” she said.

“Bethany is an extraordinary organisation, providing a responsive and flexible intake service which considers the complexity of clients’ needs and connects them to the most appropriate service, or services, from a broad range of programs,” Ms Ray said.

Grant Boyd, CEO of Bethany Community Support, said that he was delighted to be able to partner with HHS on this initiative.

“Access to affordable housing continues to be an area of major for many low-income Victorians, and we are proud to be involved with a program which provides practical and holistic support to vulnerable people,” Mr Boyd says.