Tackling homelessness at the 2021 Casey Cardinia Housing Summit

Published: 6 August 2021

Over 120 housing and homelessness workers, representing over 65 different organisations, attended a summit hosted by Cardinia Shire and City of Casey councils to discuss emerging local issues.

Now in its second year, the summit is a joint effort between the fast-growing local government areas of the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire.  More than 116,000 Australians and almost 25,000 Victorians were homeless on any given night pre-COVID-19 (ABS 2016 Census*), including 838 in Casey and 220 in Cardinia. 

Guest speakers at the summit included Dr Ani Diamond (Local Government Regional Charter Group), Jessica Featherston (Launch Housing), Zara Msonda-Johnson (Homes Vic) and Leslie Dredge (CEO – Community Housing Sector Advocates Victoria) who spoke about the services that currently exist within both the Casey and Cardinia Shire regions.   

Cardinia Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Owen says that Cardinia Shire’s commitment to increasing stocks of social and affordable housing through the Council’s Social and Affordable Housing strategy is a step in the right direction. 

“Through data analysis with service providers in our area, we know women, single parent families, young people, people with a history of a mental illness and people with a disability are disproportionately affected by a lack of affordable housing. We also know family violence is a big factor,” explained the Mayor. 

While Council plays a limited role in responding directly to homelessness, it recognises housing as a fundamental human right and an important factor in creating a liveable and resilient community.   

“Council can have a direct impact in supporting the growth of social and affordable housing stock in our area,” explains Cr Owen. 

“This might be through the planning scheme or leading the conversation in our community around why we need more social and affordable housing and who it benefits. For example, secure, stable and safe housing for children is absolutely vital to their wellbeing and ability to flourish,” he said. 

Council has developed a 7-year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy, which outlines how Council will work with local agencies towards increasing access to diverse, high quality, sustainable and affordable housing responsive to the needs of a growing and diverse community.   

In August 2020, Council also endorsed the Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter. The charter outlines a unified, local government response from 13 eastern and south-eastern councils across Melbourne to address the urgent need for increased social housing and a more effective, integrated and supported homelessness service system.   

For more information about Cardinia Shire Council’s Social and Affordable Housing Strategy visit Council’s website at cardinia.vic.gov.au/affordablehousing or call the Community Strengthening team on 1300 787 624. 

If you’re experiencing homelessness and need support, please contact one of our local support service providers: 

WAYSS - wayss.org.au 
ERMHA - ermha.org