Homelessness in Yarra

Due to a complex set of structural, social and economic issues, there continues to be a significant number of people in rooming houses, sleeping rough and squatting in the City of Yarra.

The census shows 105,237 people were homeless on August 9 2011 (0.5 per cent of the population) and this figure has increased 8 per cent since 2006 (ABS, 2012).

Yarra has five-to-six times the state average rate of homelessness. This leads to numbers of people sleeping rough and squatting locally.

This situation is likely to continue while there is a severe shortage of appropriate and affordable housing in Melbourne.

With support from local agencies, Yarra City Council has developed a resource, a protocol, for responding to issues of homelessness within the municipality that aims to help both Council officers and Yarra residents and businesses to respond appropriately and effectively to issues related to homelessness through raising awareness of the resources and supports available.

Homelessness services across Victoria work within an area-based service coordination framework called Opening Doors, providing people seeking assistance with timely and effective access to homelessness and social housing services. Yarra has several established agencies delivering front line services including Hanover Outreach, HomeGround Services and the Royal District Nursing Services (RDNS) Homeless Persons Program.

Yarra City Council provides ancillary support through its Youth and Family Services, Buildings and Property Branch, Environmental Health Unit and Social Policy Unit.

Council seeks to foster an inclusive and dynamic community and believes housing is a human right. Council will continue to pursue social and affordable housing outcomes for the community through it policies, targeted funding and determined advocacy to State and Federal Governments.

Yarra believes this protocol will help to achieve the best outcomes for people who are sleeping rough, squatting and in rooming houses.

A pdf of the resource Protocol for Responding to Rough Sleeping, Squatting, Rooming Houses and Related Issues can be downloaded below.


This resource is produced in accordance with Council’s obligations under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006.

Visit Ask Lizzy, for an A to Z diectory of homeless help.  


Further information
Anne Barton
Community Planner – Housing and Advocacy
9205 5094 

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