A new housing advisory service will make it easier for South Australians with housing issues to get assistance – and reduce their risk of homelessness.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink announced today that SYC will operate the new Housing Advice, Advocacy and Engagement Service, offering services over the phone, via email and face-to-face from October 1, 2020.
It forms part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s much-needed homelessness system reform.
“This new service will make it easier for our most vulnerable South Australians to get the services and assistance they need,” said Minister Lensink.
“It brings together services that were previously offered by multiple different organisations, including financial advice and advocacy.
“The new approach is in response to direct feedback from people with lived experience in the homelessnesss system while we were developing out new $550 million housing and homelessness strategy, Our Housing Future 2020-2030.
“South Australians told us the system was often difficult to navigate, and they had to repeat their personal situation to multiple agencies.
“By offering this assistance as one service, it will make it easier for people to get the help they need at a time when they are under great stress and facing an uncertain housing future.
“South Australians will have access to support from a team who are knowledgeable of residential tenancy legislation, financial counselling and dispute resolution, as well as understand and can liaise with real estate agencies and landlords, Community Housing Providers and the South Australian Civil and Administrative tribunal.”
The service will operate extended hours weekdays from 8am to 8pm – previously operating hours were 9am to 5pm. The service will be accessible in a range of ways, including phone, video call, face-to-face meeting, email and online chat.
SYC already operates a range of housing, education and employment services, including the Tenants Information and Advisory Service, Get-A-Place, South Australian Youth Homelessness Gateway and the Eastern Adelaide Youth Homelessness Service.
The organisation was the successful applicant for the contract, which is worth $3 million over three years in a competitive tender process. The new service will be open to people of all ages.
The new service will provide:
* Support to maintain tenancies
* Education and information for tenants about their tenancies, their obligations and rights, to build independence
* Advocacy and advice regarding tenancy issues and the housing options available
* Help navigating the housing system including links to legal services
* Links to health and social services, to ensure the supports and services in place
“Critically, the new service will incorporate lived experience into its service design by asking clients how the service could be improved. This will ensure that clients have a voice in shaping this service,” said Minister Lensink.
“Clients are best placed to tell us where the gaps are and how things can be improved, so they will help shape the service over time.
“This service is part of the work underway to reform and redesign homelessness services to put customers at the centre, and ensure we do things with people, not just for them.
“For too long, we have focused on the crisis end and people spend years and years cycling in and out of homelessness – our ultimate aim is to get people off the streets for good.”
More details about how to access the new service will be confirmed before October 1. If people need assistance now, they can continue to access help via 1800 060 462 or www.syc.net.au/tias