People experiencing chronic homelessness or sleeping rough are among the most vulnerable in our community. They often face significant disadvantage including issues that worsen over time, such as poor mental and physical health and substance misuse. Studies have found rough sleeping can reduce life expectancy by up to 30 years. Since 2014, the Victorian government has invested over $1.4 billion to address homelessness.
This audit examines the implementation of key elements of the Victorian government’s $45 million Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan (HRSAP).
- While the audited entities have achieved some positive outcomes for clients, DHHS does not know whether HRSAP programs are reducing the incidence and impacts of rough sleeping in Victoria.
- Poor planning, a lack of agreed goals and limited performance monitoring mean that some people who could have been housed may still be sleeping rough.
- Establish governance arrangements so there is senior level oversight, clear expectations and internal reporting for the delivery and performance of homelessness initiatives at the program level/
- Ensure risk assessments are completed and risk management plans are in place for all homelessness initiatives.
- Improve monitoring and reporting of new homelessness initiatives by setting meaningful performance measures and targets at the outset, to enable ongoing performance monitoring at a service provider, regional, state-wide and program level.