What is the South Eastern Melbourne Housing Guide?

The South Eastern Melbourne Housing Guide was developed out of a recognised need by Partners in Recovery (PIR) Frankston for the sharing of housing information.

PIR is a community mental health service specifically working with people that experience severe and enduring mental illness. Our core aim is to assist participants in identifying their needs and linking them in with relevant services. PIR recognises that mental health is impacted by many compounding factors and that recovery requires a holistic approach. We found that when a client’s housing was at risk, this had a significant impact on the person’s capacity and motivation to work on their other needs, including mental health. PIR Frankston employed a specialised housing worker to assist clients in their housing needs to reduce the pressure and free up PIR workers so they could support clients with other areas of their recovery.

Having a housing worker assist clients with their housing needs proved very successful. Some of the great outcomes included assisting people in sustaining tenancies that were at risk and supporting clients in mapping out their housing pathway. We have managed to support over 30 people into a broad range of affordable and sustainable accommodation. We intentionally made our housing response person-centred. The focus of our housing support has been to empower clients and supporting them in making informed choices through a response tailored to the needs of that client. Our support included providing information, toolkits and support from the team in exploring options. Having experienced the benefits of a specialised housing worker, we saw an opportunity in developing tools for community service workers who work with complex clients in the community and do not have access to their own housing worker.

We acknowledge that there are a broad range of housing services available, such as Office of Housing, Community Housing and Crisis Housing. These services are really good at providing specialised support to clients with a particular type of housing. However, there is a huge onus on the client to navigate where to go and find out what the right service is.

We held two workshops and attended several local and state networks to discuss the development of a guide. We found clients often turned to workers to assist them in navigating housing services. Workers reported they often found the system confusing to navigate too and that there was a lack of appropriate training and education in the community to assist them.

PIR has come together with Primary Health Networks (PHN) and many other community organisations to develop this website. Our aim is to develop a community where information and skills are shared in so we can seamlessly assist clients who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.

We have made all attempts to ensure the information on this site is correct. Please contact us if anything requires updating or if there is an item or organisation that you believe would be helpful for workers in assisting clients with their housing needs.