Of all the many success, we as an organisation, have celebrated over the past financial year, the loss of the pilot program Back on Track was a huge disappointment when it failed to secure ongoing funding.
Back on Track was collaboration of six community agencies and leading real estate agents tasked with combating homelessness through early intervention in the Loddon Campaspe region.
Over the 12 month pilot, 343 private rental tenancies were supported to sustain their housing
and thereby decrease their likelihood of entering the cycle of homelessness. Of these, 79% of the tenancies were maintained. Of the remaining 21%, most people were supported to find more affordable housing prior to and after being issued with a Notice to Vacate; it is estimated this delivered a saving to the community of approximately $2 million.
Having created better working relationships with Real Estate Agents, and stronger support arrangements for tenants when difficulties arose, a key outcome of the project was that 30 Aboriginal client families were able to secure their tenancies.
Another clear indicator of the pilot’s achievements was the reduction of local VCAT hearings for Vacant Possession, because the Back on Track project staff were able to intervene at an earlier point to prevent legal action. With real estate agents working proactively with the BOT staff, tenancies were supported through their financial and personal difficulties to secure the tenancy.
All of this meant that our already over-subscribed homeless support services were not required to pick up support for those clients whose tenancies were indeed put back on track.
The program was wound up in early September and unfinished cases were transferred to our case management services.