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It is well understood that knowing the drivers of a problem is essential for finding sustainable solutions. In the case of homelessness in Australia, the drivers have been well understood for a long time – yet according to Launch Housing’s Australian Homelessness Monitor, between 2011 and 2016 homelessness increased by 14% nationally, easily outpacing population growth.

Homelessness is an experience that can befall anyone. It is caused by the erosion of social safety nets, underscored by the increasing unavailability of secure, appropriate and affordable housing. It’s a sad fact that Australia is performing poorly when it comes to addressing homelessness. Nationally, 116,000 people are without a home on any given night.

The lack of political will and investment in the appropriate social and affordable housing needed to address homelessness means this dangerous trajectory will continue, ensuring there will always be those who have no home.

This is unacceptable. Housing is a basic human right that affords people dignity. Everyone has a right to a home.

The good news is that innovative thinking and smart investments can and do make a profound difference. Through creative partnerships, Launch Housing has helped produce real and scalable solutions. In 2019 we delivered the first 14 of 57 awardwinning “tiny homes” on underused government land as part of the Harris Transportable Housing Project.

The project is a partnership between Launch Housing and philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, of Harris Capital, with funding from the Victorian Property Fund.

With 6-12 homes on each site, the project is creating small communities within a larger community where tenants can support each other. This Housing First approach ensures a rapid and cost-effective response for individuals with chronic experiences of homelessness. It provides the stability people need to rebuild their lives and break the cycle of homelessness.

We believe productive partnerships and innovative funding are one major part of the solution to Australia’s homelessness crisis. We want to work with people and organisations across all sectors to grow projects like this and rapidly build more homes for the many Australians who urgently need them. Together, we can end homelessness in Australia.

Bevan Warner, Chief Executive Officer, Launch Housing

Launch Housing is a Melbourne-based community agency with a mission to end homelessness. Launch Housing provides high-quality housing, support, education and employment services to around 16,000 people across 14 sites in metropolitan Melbourne each year. Launch Housing also drives social policy change, advocacy, research and innovation.