A project bringing together tenants with disability and sector representatives to improve rental experiences.
Shelter WA, in a partnership with People with Disabilities WA (PWdWA) has received an Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant from the Department of Social Services.
We will work alongside people with disability and relevant advocacy, financial counselling, disability, consumer protection, community legal, housing and housing support providers to develop skills and resources to help prevent evictions and reduce the risk of homelessness for people with disability.
Maintaining an existing tenancy is a key plank in the prevention of homelessness yet people with disability are more likely to experience issues during rental inspections (Choice, National Shelter, National Association of Tenant Organisations 2018), are more likely to have to move home due to their disability, and are less likely to be able to find housing that meets their needs to access local retail facilities, public transport, employment and health care (AIHW 2020).
Our first step is to identify the resources currently available and under development. Remaining and emerging gaps will be identified. Using a co-design process, the project will invite people with diverse experience of disability who have lived in rented accommodation and service providers to share their knowledge to develop resources and workshops which will then be made available across WA. The workshop topics will support individuals with disability to be confident tenants who understand their rights and responsibilities and feel able to self advocate for positive resolutions. The resources will be made available to a wide of organisations to expand their capacity to work with tenants with disability when they seek support in a tenancy matter. The project aims to make linkages between individuals and support services, facilitating important community connections with people in their local areas.
The definition of disability in this project includes people with any type of disability including physical, sensory, acquired brain injury, neurological, intellectual and psychosocial disability that may be related to mental health issues or problematic substance use.
An advisory group is currently being formed, comprised of peak bodies, individuals and service providers with experience across the housing, rental, consumer protection, financial counselling, advocacy and disability sectors.
The project will run until November 2022 with the evaluation to be completed by February 2023. Expressions of interest for membership of the co-design group, for an evaluator and for a co-design facilitator will shortly be listed on the Shelter WA website.
For further information about this project, or to express an interest in being involved, please contact Donna Turner at Shelter WA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 9325 6660
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Visit www.dss.gov.au for more information.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2020. People with disability in Australia
2 Choice, National Shelter, National Association of Tenant Organisations 2018. Disrupted: The consumer experience of renting in Australia