Stopping homelessness before it starts

We help people to understand and assert their rights to access and maintain safe housing. We also advocate for better laws and policies for renters living in social housing and private rentals.

To prevent people from entering homelessness, we need more adequate and affordable housing, and stronger protections to keep people securely housed.

The risk of homelessness is increasing. We need to prioritise more safe and secure homes.

Without enough affordable and safe housing, many people are at risk of homelessness, or unable to exit homelesness in Australia. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong – the kids getting sick, or the car breaking down – for many in our community to fall behind in rent and to end up on the brink of homelessness.

Despite significant progress in some state-based rental laws and policies, the residential tenancies system still leaves vulnerable Australians at risk of eviction into homelessness. Legal issues take a heavy toll on Australians who are facing housing insecurity, exacerbating housing and financial stress, isolation, health problems, unemployment and justice system interactions. Legal issues cause and compound homelessness, often making it impossible for people to move into stable housing. At the same time, there is an ongoing shortage of social and affordable housing, leaving many people in chronic rental stress in the private market.

Around 55,000 Victorian households are waiting for housing.

The average wait time for social housing is 15 months.

How we’re stopping homelessness before it starts

As Victoria’s specialist free legal service for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Justice Connect has spent over 20 years holistically preventing homelessness in our community.

To ensure that more Australians can stay safely housed, we advocate for increased access to integrated legal and social work supports, addressing key drivers of homelessness such as family violence and financial insecurity, and the need for a national plan to end homelessness

To prevent homelessness, we need better laws and protections for people at risk of homelessness, including family violence victim-survivors, people who have experienced prison and people who have slept rough, and an ongoing pipeline for social and affordable housing.

Download our recent reports and submissions on stopping homelessness before it starts

Briefing Report: Rising Housing & Financial Insecurity For Renters (July 2023)Download PDF (22 MB)
Submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria (July 2023)Download PDF (1 MB)

Do you need legal help?

Are you experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness? We can provide ongoing legal support on some areas of law.

Apply now

Takes less than 8 minutes
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Our stories about stopping homelessness before it starts

Mary and her kids just wanted a safe, long-term home to live in.

Our lawyers and social workers were able to have her unfair fines waived and move her and the kids into a new house.

Read Mary's story