Last financial year our Tenancy Support Program helped 149 households avoid eviction which is a huge achievement!
We all know how important it to keep our vulnerable people in their homes and protect them from homelessness and our Tenancy Support Program is designed with the key goal of doing just that. Our valuable service is of one of our longest running programs and continues to demonstrate the huge social and economic benefits of supporting people to avoid eviction.
“Once people are evicted, they are homeless, and life becomes a real struggle” explains team leader Patricia Kurnoth
People’s needs are diverse
Working closely with the Department of Housing, our dedicated team of four supports high needs tenants in public housing. Often the team is supporting people to pass rental inspections or referring them to other programs like Somerville to apply for small loans to by whitegoods or pay bills. Its common we’ll need to help with garden clean ups and the day to day demands of setting up and running a household. There are times when we will help people to access legal services and act as an advocate for them. It’s varied work that depends on the needs of the client.
Referrals to our program happens in two ways. The most common is a direct referral from the Department of Housing. They will let us know if they have a high needs tenant at risk of eviction and we step in to support. The second way is self-referral where a tenant will make direct contact with the program. Last financial year we had 149 referrals which demonstrates the importance of the work we do.
This is a collaborative process between the case manager and tenant to describe the living situation and identify tenancy challenges. We consider all influences such as family, employment, health, disability, and income that may affect the capacity of the tenant to meet their tenancy goals.
There are many factors that affect a person’s ability to meet their tenancy obligations. By mapping needs as well as the challenges, both the tenant and the case worker can begin to create a formal plan to maintain tenancy.
An important part of our service is helping clients set up and maintain their home and yard. Donations play a significant role in facilitating this. We welcome all donations and regularly distribute items such as furniture, bedding and kitchen utensils to people we know are in need. If you have household items to donate, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Our program holds immense value for our clients who are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Ongoing funding from the Department of Housing is the greatest risk to the continuation of our program and we are glad to have secured funding for TSP until 2023.