Collaborating to provide long-term housing outcomes

Unison, one of the largest providers of services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Melbourne’s West, connects people to safe and affordable short, medium- or long-term accommodation. Combined with support to address any issues that may have contributed to their fragile housing situation, we help people re-establish and maintain a secure home. 

Through collaboration between, our Private Rental Access Program (PRAP) and Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) teams, we provide long term housing outcomes in the private rental market for many people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.   

Unison’s IAP service is a high-volume access point service in Western Melbourne, which provides support to approximately 3,500 households each year. The PRAP team works closely with the IAP team to support low-income families to secure and maintain affordable private rental. An evaluation of the PRAP, undertaken by the Unison Housing Research Lab, found that 8 in 10 households that use Unison’s PRAP service exit homelessness and maintain their housing[1]

The program relies on collaboration between the State Government, not-for profit agencies and private real estate agents as part of a long-term vision to reduce homelessness. These strong relationships are key in making sure all Victorians have a secure, affordable home. 

Both the PRAP and IAP programs are funded by the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and play a crucial part of a broader preventative housing strategy to reduce chronic housing instability and homelessness. 

Several heartwarming stories emerge from our teams’ dedication to work towards communities that thrive. 

“We were in a new country and no family around and unable to find any accommodation due to it being the school holidays and everything booked up. My partner moved here first in hopes to sort out everything before we arrived however, we had to leave New Zealand earlier than expected for the safety of myself and children due to my ex-partner.” 

“I know this is their job, but they have gone above and beyond for me and my family. From finding accommodation and ensuring we have a place to stay. Thank you again, I cannot express how grateful I am!”

To find out more about the services Unison provides, including the PRAP and IAP programs, click here

[1] Watson, J., Johnson, G. and Taylor, S. (2020) Staying home? Examining longer-term housing outcomes of the Private Rental Access Program (PRAP). Unison Housing, Melbourne

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