Private Rental Assistance Helps Many on the Brink of Homelessness

By Rachel Evans, Private Rental Assistance Program Coordinator

“This program has been life-changing for the people who use it. We provide a stopgap for those on the brink of homelessness.

In May, we were delighted when the Victorian Government committed to refund our Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) for two years.

Many of our clients are seeking support as a result of family violence, health issues or unemployment and are just clinging on at the bottom end of the rental market.

We help people to find or keep a safe and secure roof over their heads, by providing education about the rental market, empowering clients through the housing search process, and providing practical support for things like rental applications.

(Image: Rachel Evans, PRAP Coordinator)

Finally, we provide financial support, such as helping cover the cost of rent in advance, bond or moving costs. Along with providing financial support, we work with teams across Launch Housing and provide targeted information and support directly to clients.

We have found it useful to work in tandem with support workers to offer the specific expertise we have as a PRAP team and it is useful for our PRAP workers to hone their focus onto a client’s individual rental concerns.

It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we can help people break and prevent the cycle of homelessness.”

It’s Difficult Getting Back into Private Rental

A former PRAP client offers some insight into her experience of homelessness and how her safety and stability were impacted.

By Maya, Private Rental Assistance Program recipient.

“The Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) gave me and my daughter safety, stability. Last year, when my young daughter and myself were forced to leave our home in a hurry due to family violence, I received financial support from PRAP to help cover the cost of rent, bond and removalists.

The feeling of having a safe and secure place to call home is impossible to put into words.

It’s beyond articulation. I’ve got safety, stability and security that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

(Image: Maya, PRAP recipient)

Housing is a primal need, and especially as a parent, you want to provide a safe home for your child.

Because I was without a home and had no fixed address, no other homelessness or housing services were able to help me.

I was close to sleeping in my car. I was caught in a loop and that was overwhelmingly depressing. It really challenged my mental health. But the PRAP program gave me the foundation I needed to start again.”

Discover more stories in our Annual Report 2018-2019.