• Tristan Angelini

Rough Sleepers in Melbourne: How Can It Be Solved?

Updated: Aug 20, 2019


Melbourne has been facing a huge problem concerning rough sleepers or homeless people. While it is true that this issue is also experienced in other parts of the world, it has become so prevalent and alarming that private institutions or organizations are compelled to do something about it. The percentage of rough sleepers or homeless people have increased over the last few years and there is an obvious need to make, not just short-term solutions but long-term as well.


To be able to solve this crisis, as well as other financial issues little by little, programs and accommodations, were established. Here are some of those.


Newstart Allowance

The Newstart allowance is Australia’s income support system, primarily to aid those who are unemployed and looking for work. However, just like any income support systems, there are requirements before getting it.


Here are the eligibility basics:

  • at least 22 but under Age Pension age

  • looking for paid work

  • under the income and assets test limits

  • prepared to meet mutual obligation requirements


The Newstart allowance aims to help those who are trying to start a new life. But because there are requirements and part of it requires the person recipient of the allowance to look for work. If the person does not comply with the agreement that he or she will continue looking for work, the support might stop. For more information, visit this link.


Tiny Houses

Just like I have mentioned, a big problem Melbourne is facing right now is the rise of rough sleepers due to housing unaffordability among Australians. A small solution has been developed to solve this very dilemma—tiny houses. In the inner west, six tiny houses are being built to help those who have no place to call home. These 20 square meter tiny houses aim to help homeless people to have a permanent home while they are trying to build a new life for themselves at the same time.


This project is expected to get people off the streets and give them a chance to start anew. About fifty-one more homes are planned to be built soon. This small project is definitely a great solution to this Melbourne problem with a lease of just $1 a year.


Rooming Houses

A Rooming house or communal housing is shared accommodation which is seen as another great solution to housing unaffordability. These rooming houses are similar to Airbnb; one or two rooms are available for rental. Each room may be occupied by four or more people.


Rooming houses like Xotel, have minimum standards to follow. This allows renters to enjoy the privileges but at the same time be reminded that there are still rules to abide by. It maintains the privacy, security, and safety the renters deserve.


Duty to Assist Law

The Duty to Assist law is said to hopefully force governments to take action to solve the homelessness problem that is increasing in main cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. According to reports, the duty to assist law will force the Australian authorities to help homeless people or rough sleepers to find accommodation and secure it for them. This law, that will reportedly follow the one in Wales, will prevent the problem to reach a critical point.

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