Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 8

1 Introduction and service context 1.2 Whittlesea Community Connections (WCC) provides a range of programs and services to help overcome disadvantage and increase community participation within the City of Whittlesea. In 2013, WCC implemented a Housing Brokerage and Support Project (HBSP) to respond to the increasing number of clients presenting to WCC with experience of recurrent, long-term homelessness or who were at risk of homelessness. The overall goal of the project was to assist low income households to gain access to and stabilise their private rental housing through the provision of brokerage loans matched with case management support. The main source of data to inform the evaluation was qualitative in nature drawn from client and external stakeholder interviews and a staff focus group. The aim of the client interviews was to elicit qualitative accounts of their experience of the support process and the difference the program has made to their housing circumstances and to other aspects of their lives. A total of eight clients or 44% of the 18 clients provided with a brokerage loan were interviewed. The semi-structured client interviews were undertaken at WCC by the author and were between ½ and 1 hour in duration (see attached interview schedule in appendix 1). The translating phone service was used for two interviewees with English as a second language who required an interpreter. RMIT University ethics approval was sought and granted prior to commencing the interviews. Clients were initially invited to participate in an interview via their case worker through distributing a prepared background statement. Informed consent was sought by the interviewer prior to commencing interviews (see attached in appendix 1). The interviews were not tape recorded. The project was funded by a combined seeding grant from four philanthropic funders: Jack Brockhoff Foundation ($12,000), Mercy Foundation ($10,000), Sidney Myer Fund ($10,000) and the Ian Potter Fund ($34,000). Additional in kind support for the project was provided by integr