Newsletter Spring 07

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					      The Low Cost Accommodation Support News
Community Connections Program |Older Persons High Rise | Housing Support for the Aged | SRS Service Coordination & Support

          Spring 2007
     Welcome to the fifth edition of the Low Cost Accommodation Support News, a newsletter for program
     managers, workers, and regional staff involved in the four Low Cost Accommodation Support
     programs funded through the Aged Care Branch of DHS.

     In this   newsletter:
         o     Statewide Forum November 2007
         o     Good Practice Unit
         o     Staff changes
         o     Meeting dates for Managers 2008

     Statewide Forum 2007

     It was fantastic to see that over 110 people               into how the lives of clients can have an impact on
     registered for this year’s statewide forum. This was       workers and the need for self-care and personal
     the second time the Low Cost Accommodation                 awareness is paramount when working with needy
     Support Programs have come together and I think            and vulnerable groups of people.
     its now safe to say this has become an annual
     event. It was also pleasing this year to have              The concurrent sessions were divided into two
     included some of the project staff from the                sessions with a mix of varied presentations ranging
     Supporting       Accommodation       for    Vulnerable     from    the    role   of    service   provision   in
     Victorians initiative (SAVVI) at this year’s forum.        accommodation closures, the development of a
                                                                social & recreation group for isolated men in the
     I think many of you would agree that one of the            high rise estates (the League of Gentleman) and a
     highlights of this year’s forum was the presentation       project aimed at facilitating access to mainstream
     by the keynote speaker Lillian Holt. In her                HACC services for clients who are at risk of
     presentation Lillian spoke of the opportunity for          homelessness (The How project).
     better connections in creating community and
     country.                                                   The housing forum on day two provided for lively
                                                                discussion on issues ranging from the rental crisis
     Lillian referred to some notable quotes such as “let       in housing to the future of the rooming house
     it begin with me and “be the change you want to            sector including current government reforms.
     see” when seeking solutions to society’s problems.         Special thanks to Mark O’Brien CEO of The Tenants
     These notable quotations by Mahatma Gandhi are             Union and Janet Goodwin from the South Port
     still very powerful in today’s context and apply           Rooming House Group for their presentations.
     very much to the way we work with clients of each
     of the programs. Lillian’s presentation was truly
     inspiring and set a positive tone for the duration of
     the forum.

     Brad Pearce from the Equal Opportunity and
     Human Right Commission gave an informative
     outline of the Charter of Human Rights that came
     into effect in January 2007. The public sector will
     be bound by the charter from January 1 2008,
     which allows for government policies and
     procedures to be changed if necessary. For further
     information please go to the link provided

     Lynne Datnow from the Stonnington Family
     Counselling centre gave an insightful presentation

          Low Cost Accommodation Support News- Spring 2007                                               Page 1 of 3
                                                   applicants. All calls are logged and the data is
 Office of Housing                                 used to:
                                                   • identify operational training issues,
 News:                                             • provide feedback & assistance in
 Good Practice Unit                                   identifying     relevant
                                                      production and updates,
                                                                                  issues,  manual

                                                   • monitor the effectiveness and clarity of
                                                      policy & procedural manuals ensuring all
 The Good Practice Unit (GPU) operates as             issues are adequately covered within the
part of the Public Housing Client Services            manual, and
Group within the Housing and Community             • identify areas where policy is unclear or
Building Division and is located on the 23rd          no policy exists.
floor of 50 Lonsdale Street Melbourne.             Related links:
                                                   • Housing Policy & Procedure Manuals
The Good Practice Unit does not develop
                                                   • Informed Housing Opportunity (IHO)
policy. Broad policy decisions are either
determined at a Ministerial level or by the
Policy, Strategy and Communications Branch
                                                   • Legal Housing Issues
                                                   • Mutual Swap
or approved by the Housing Executive. The
team is responsible for the coordination of
ISIP enhancement and development of
operational policy and procedure documents
that are based on these broad policy
decisions.                                         For more information:
                                                   Contact the Policy Hotline
Policy changes may also be brought about as        Telephone: (03) 9096 8234
a result of an appeal, hotline query,              Email:
Ministerials to other programs as well as
changes in the external environment such as
changes     in   Centrelink   payments, the
introduction of the GST, etc.

Our Responsibilities
Good Practice Unit is responsible for:
• developing, preparing and updating Policy
  and Procedure manuals,
• providing advice on a daily basis to OOH
  staff and community groups in relation to
  the practical application of approved OOH
  policy and procedures. For example, the
  policy hotline,
• facilitating and developing systems
  changes through project management,
  ISIP enhancement and focus groups,
                                                   Staffing Changes - Low Cost
• conducting information sessions relating
  to     new   and     updated    policy   and     Accommodation Support Programs
  procedures,                                      Shona Callum, Team Co-ordinator at City of
• raising policy issues with the Housing           Kingston has a new role until June 2008. During
  Policy for development or clarification, and     her absence, Margie Hanrahan will act as Team Co-
• revising    application   of    policy   and     ordinator for the CCP program.
  procedures to facilitate best practice.          Useful Information
                                                   Need help with implementing the MDS V2.01?
                                                   Contact the HACC Help desk on Ph: 9096 7255
Policy Hotline                                     E-mail –
Telephone: (03) 9096 8234
                                                   Victorian HACC Website
The policy hotline provides policy advice to
OOH staff and external stakeholders. This
number is not available to tenants or

Low Cost Accommodation Support News- Spring 2007                                       Page 2 of 3
Low Cost Accommodation Support Programs
Webpage                                                 Meetiing dates for Managers 2008
                                                        Meet ng dates for Managers 2008
                                                        Community Connection program &
                                                        Housing Support for the Aged program
                                                           • Thursday 13 March (11.00 –
Office of Housing Website                                     1.00)                                     • Wednesday 16 July (11.00 –
If you have a story, event or a program you would       OP Hi Rise Support program
like to share with colleagues from other Low Cost          • Thursday 10 April (10.30-12.00)
Accommodation Support Programs please let us               • Wednesday 6 August (10.30-
know and it can be included in the next edition of             12.00)
this newsletter (word limit 500 words or less).
                                                        SRS Service Co-ordination & Support
All correspondence to Shane McDonald               at
                                                        program –
Department    of    Human    Services, SRS          &
Accommodation Support Unit, Level 12,              50      • Thursday 28 February (10.30-
Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000.                              11.30)
Ph: 9096 7227                                              • Wednesday 2 July (10.30-11.30)

Low Cost Accommodation Support News- Spring 2007                                Page 3 of 3

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