How can the private sector help end homelessness?

National Homelessness Conference to examine effective private sector strategies

18 July 2018

Two sessions of the National Homelessness Conference 2018 are focused on ways the private sector can help combat homelessness through investment and through providing affordable rental housing in the private market.

The first session, ‘Beyond blankets, handbags and laundries, will explore effective private sector investment and donation strategies.

Facilitated by Felicity Reynolds, CEO of the Mercy Foundation, this session will explore how the private sector can be involved effectively in policy development and practices that support evidence based responses to homelessness.

Although well meaning, business and corporate efforts responding to homelessness can often be ineffective if they provide short term relief that just services (and normalises) the problem rather than creating ways to help to end people’s experience of homelessness.

A key focus for the panel members Associate Professor Cameron Parsell, University of Queensland, Gavin Jackman , Homes for Homes, The Big Issue, and Professor Kristy Muir, Centre for Social Impact, University of NSW, is that corporations shouldn’t just be seen as a source of donations, but as an important community sector with important skills and expertise (as well as funds) that can be used to help end homelessness.

The session will raise important questions including how best to inform and educate the corporate sector about getting the most effective results from their time, funding or other commitment to homelessness or housing services, and how to encourage corporates to support housing related solutions to homelessness?

Another session looking at how the private market can be part of the solution to homelessness is ‘Making the private market work in responding to homelessness. This session, facilitated by Adrian Pisarski, Executive Officer of National Shelter, will explore innovative real-world strategies where government and the private market can work together in providing rental housing for those at risk of homelessness.

Adrian will be joined by a panel who will share insights into how the private rental market interacts with people experiencing homelessness and the possibilities of what it can achieve. Speakers include Jeanette Large, CEO of Women’s Property Initiatives; Dr Heather Holst, Acting CEO of Launch Housing and designer of HomeGround Real Estate; Celia Adams, CEO of BeyondHousing; and Cindi Petersen, Executive Officer at Launchpad Youth Community; and Brooke Morley, Outreach Case Manager at Launchpad Youth Community.

The National Homelessness Conference, Ending Homelessness Together, will run from the 6 and 7 August 2018 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. For further information and to register, please visit the event page on the AHURI website .

The 2018 National Homelessness Conference is co-convened by AHURI and Homelessness Australia.