Monday, April 22, 2024

Councils win funding for homeless women project

Maroondah City Council is among six eastern metropolitan councils to share $180,000 in Victorian Government funding for a project aimed at preventing homelessness in women aged 55 and over.

Mayor of Maroondah, Rob Steane said the project aims to prevent homelessness in those who were most at risk in the community.

“Single women over 55 are the fastest growing group of people experiencing homelessness in the Eastern Metropolitan Region,” he said.

“This project will explore the lived experiences of women over 55 and identify service gaps in the region. This will help find critical points where intervention could help keep older women safe from homelessness.

“The findings will be used to inform all levels of government about preventive approaches and alternative housing models for women over 55 that could be delivered locally and across the eastern region.”

The Preventing Homelessness in Older Women Project commenced in October and is being undertaken by the Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance (EAHA), with sponsorship from Knox City Council. The project is also being supported by fellow EAHA members Maroondah, Manningham, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges councils.

Since 2009, the EAHA has worked towards addressing the lack of social and affordable housing across the Eastern Metropolitan Region. Data compiled by the EAHA found there is currently a shortfall of 9,400 dwellings in the region, which could increase to 11,800 by 2032 without initiatives like this project.

Rising rents in the private rental market, living alone, working part-time, having little savings, and being from a non-English speaking country or Indigenous are among complex factors that can place older women at greater risk of homelessness, Council said in a statement.

The $180,000 was provided to the Eastern Metropolitan Partnership under the Victorian Government’s Metropolitan Partnerships Development Fund.

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