This practice manual (Manual) provides guidance for the delivery, design and funding of congregate supportive housing that is based on Housing First principles, such as the Common Ground model. This guidance relates to both the housing itself and the support service model. The central premise of Housing First approaches is to provide people experiencing homelessness with immediate access to permanent housing to enable them to address their support needs. Whilst engagement with support services is not mandatory, intensive support services are integrated with the housing provision. The Common Ground model draws on Housing First principles, accommodating people experiencing chronic homelessness and low-income households in a congregate setting.
The Manual has been prepared by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) in collaboration with MGS Architects and Mind Australia for the City of Port Phillip on behalf of the Inner Metropolitan Partnership (IMP), which consists of the Cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra. The Manual will provide guidance for the scaling up of congregate supportive housing in the Inner Metropolitan Region, including the development of a Common Ground facility in the City of Port Phillip, and the development of facilities based on Housing First principles in the Cities of Melbourne and Yarra. The Manual also outlines key considerations and processes that are adaptable to different places and to projects of various scales.