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
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.