Addressing Homelessness: Partnerships and Plans

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Tabled: 6 February 2013

Homelessness has a significant impact on both individuals and the community. Homeless people have poorer health, fewer social connections and fewer opportunities for education or employment. The audit examined whether Victoria’s implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) and the Victorian Homelessness Action Plan 2011–2015 (VHAP) is effective in addressing homelessness.

Although Victoria has overwhelmingly met NPAH targets, it can only demonstrate that two of the 24 NPAH–VIP initiatives have effectively contributed to reducing homelessness. This is due to a lack of meaningful outcome and output measurement, and very limited evaluation of NPAH–VIP initiatives. This significantly reduces the evidence-base for future State Budget decision-making and negotiations with the Commonwealth.

This does not mean that efforts have made no difference: the two NPAH–Victorian Implementation Plan (NPAH–VIP) initiatives examined in detail, A Place to Call Home and Assertive Outreach, were effective in reducing homelessness.

NPAH–VIP has not been supported by effective governance, with no department leading efforts and monitoring progress, and no coordinated communication.

The Department of Human Services has comprehensively planned VHAP. If implemented according to plan, VHAP should deliver the reforms needed to drive homelessness system improvement.

This audit contributes to an Australasian Council of Auditors-General initiative to conduct a concurrent audit across state and Commonwealth jurisdictions on an area of national importance. All Australian jurisdictions, except for South Australia, are participating in the concurrent process, with each tabling its own performance audit report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last updated on 7/23/2013