Homelessness

Recognising the importance of addressing the underlying structural and systemic issues that cause, contribute and prolong homelessness, law reform and public policy advocacy is fundamental to the work of the HPLC. In particular, the HPLC advocates for changes to laws and policies that impact disproportionately or in a discriminatory way against people experiencing homelessness.

Current law reform projects of the HPLC include:

  • Responding to the Federal Government's inquiry into homelessness and its Green Paper on Homelessness Which Way Home?
  • Advocating for a National Charter of Human Rights, which incorporates civil and political rights and economic social and cultural rights (such as the right to adequate housing)
  • Advocating for the decriminalisation of begging in Victoria
  • Advocating for the incorporation of social status discrimination as a protected attribute in equal opportunity legislation in Victoria and federally
  • Advocating for legislative change to better protect security of tenure and safety of rooming house residents in Victoria

From time to time, the HPLC conducts projects that, while outside the scope of its law reform activities, seek to fulfil its aims and objectives. In particular, the HPLC focuses on projects that expand its current services, or raise awareness about the issue of homelessness. Important projects of the HPLC include:

  • Establishing HPLC outreach locations in Bendigo in partnership with Loddon Campaspe Legal Centre and two local law firms, and Geelong.
  • Hosting a photography exhibition, No Forwarding Address: Homelessness through our Eyes, in 2007, showcasing the work of 9 artists who have experienced homelessness