CHP reports rise in employed Victorians seeking homelessness support

70% of those seeking help are working women

CHP reports rise in employed Victorians seeking homelessness support

The number of employed Victorians seeking homelessness support has surged by 14% across the state, with notable increases in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and regional centres, according to the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP).

Its “Employed & At Risk: The new face of homelessness in Victoria” report highlights the rising trend of workers, especially women, who are struggling to secure stable housing amid escalating living costs.

The CHP report identifies Casey, Wyndham, Greater Geelong, Greater Bendigo, and Greater Dandenong as the local government areas with the sharpest increases in homelessness support requests among the employed. Mildura, Latrobe, Greater Shepparton, Frankston, and Knox were also significantly impacted.

Analysis of new data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that more than 70% of those seeking help are working women, many of whom are escaping family violence and facing the stark choice between homelessness and abuse. The study found increases in homelessness support requests in 61 of Victoria's 80 local government areas.

In response to the findings, CHP is advocating for an immediate investment of £5.6 million in the upcoming 2024/25 state budget to expand the Private Rental Assistance Program, address rental arrears, and help prevent evictions.

This alarming rise in working Victorians seeking homelessness support is a frightening new front in the state’s crippling housing crisis,” said Deborah Di Natale (pictured), chief executive of the Council to Homeless Persons. “Not even a job is enough to guarantee a roof over people’s heads.

“Working women are the face of this crisis. Employed women escaping family violence are often faced with the impossible choice between shelter and abuse.

“These findings underscore the urgent need for the state government to build at least 6,000 public and community homes each year for a decade to end Victoria’s status as the nation’s worst social housing jurisdiction. We can’t let this crisis slide into catastrophe.”

Want to be regularly updated with mortgage news and features? Get exclusive interviews, breaking news, and industry events in your inbox – subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn.