The Aboriginal Private Rental Assistance Program (APRAP) provides holistic support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework; Mana-ana worn-tyeen maar-takoort was officially launched on 26 February 2020 at Parliament House.
Some of the issues highlighted in the framework include:
- Limited access to affordable or appropriate private rental
- Lack of access is compounded by experiences of racism and discrimination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, locking many out of the private rental market.
- A significant proportion of Aboriginal Victorians seeking homelessness and housing services have experienced trauma and may require more support to secure or maintain tenancies.
This program aims to establish and sustain successful tenancies
- Educate and assist with private rental applications.
- Attend inspections.
- Assist to connect to utilities and services.
- Assist to become acquainted with the local area, and associated services and community.
Along with supporting and advocating when tenancies are at risk by
- Develop a support plans to address issues that are causing or have the potential to cause tenancy breakdown.
- Oversight, coordination and implementation of the plan.
- Assist to liaise and negotiate with real estate agents, including understanding rental ledgers and reporting maintenance.
- Actively engage with appropriate organisations to address the underlying issues that are causing the tenancy to be at risk.
- Advocacy including providing support at VCAT, negotiating agreements with real estate agents and supporting tenants whose tenancies are at risk.
This is achieved through capacity building by
- Understanding how to manage household bills and budgeting.
- Referral to services if required.
- Attend pre-vacating inspections.
To be eligible for the Aboriginal Private Rental Assistance Program, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households must be either financially disadvantaged or victims of family violence.
In determining eligibility for assistance, service providers are required to ensure that the rent paid by the household is affordable, based on an assessment of the household’s ongoing capacity to sustain housing.
Private rental assistance should help people who are at risk of homelessness to either maintain their existing tenancy or to secure a new private rental tenancy. People receiving private rental assistance should expect outcomes such as:
- Improved access to affordable and appropriate private rental housing
- Support to sustain tenancies, repair their rental history and transition between tenancies
- Assistance tailored to their needs, based on evidence of what works
- Diversion of at-risk households from homelessness crisis and transitional services
- Rapid re-entry to the private rental market for households experiencing homelessness
- Improved capacity to maintain a stable housing career.
- Private rental subsidies
- Costs associated with accessing private rental such as storage costs, transport rental inspections.
- Costs associated with establishing a new tenancy such as furniture, appliances, removalist costs or utility connection.
This program is for people currently residing in the following North East Metropolitan area
- City of Yarra
- City of Darebin
- Banyule City Council
- Shire of Nillumbik
- Whittlesea Council