Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 42

Recommendation 1: Scale-up the project by seeking an additional mix of public and private funds to expand the capacity of the program to reach a greater number of lowincome households within the specified It was also reported that there needs to be more thorough assessment of new arrivals’ understanding of how to navigate their way around and to better understand the subjective experience of being a new Australian. There is a need for further assistance in providing integration into the community and someone who could be actively involved in doing this outside a centre based approach. target group in need of assistance. Preliminary evidence indicates that the demand for private rental assistance currently outstrips supply. A full needs assessment was beyond the scope of this initial formative evaluation. However, in developing a comprehensive area based approach to private rental support a more detailed analysis of the scope and potential size of the target group and the roles of different providers needs to be undertaken as part of a localised strategy for early intervention and homelessness prevention in the Whittlesea area, including what service gaps WCC will prioritise to address in the future. There is a lot of information that is needed to familiarise yourself with how things work in Australian way of life and the support is not really adequate enough for this. There are some assumptions that you already have some understanding. It doesn’t fully meet the needs and you have to try to piece it all together [Client interview]. Recommendation 3: Seek recurrent funding for the expansion of the existing case management role to enable greater capacity for housing related outreach and support. Recommendation 2: Undertake a needs assessment and service mapping of the demand for private rental assistance in the Whittlesea area in planning to expand its housing provision focus. 7.2 7.3 Governance The governance arrangements of the initial program have worked well on a small scale. However, as the program expands governance of the loan and support functions and how they sit together will need to be further developed. With growth, the separation of roles from the loan management and support functions will become increasingly important. The assessment procedures will need to be further formalised with dedicated administrators to manage the loans and funds. Drawing on the governance structures of larger models of microfinance management will be particularly informative to this end. However, it is critical that the case management and loan functions remain collaborative in practice to ensure that the social objectives of the program are maintained. Increased capacity for tenancy support outreach The existing support role was identified as providing essential advocacy and support. However, given the small amount of funding the capacity for support, at .6 FTE, was primarily limited to an office based position. Both internal and external stakeholders and as well as clients consulted revealed the importance of having a dedicated outreach worker who could be proactive in helping clients to access and inspect properties, particularly for those who do not have access to transport. This added capacity within the existing support role would help to facilitate faster access to properties as they become available. In expanding the model the critical thing to think about is governance and the separation of the support advocacy role with the loan officer role, which essentially should be an administration role [External stakeholder]. There is a need for programs to help tenants inspect properties. Clients without a car have difficulty finding a property because by the time they get out there to inspect the property is gone. Recent arrivals are particularly disadvantaged in this respect [External stakeholder]. 35