Changes to rental assistance have been welcomed, but homelessness support providers still fear more needs to be done.
The state government this week announced it would redirect more of the Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) funding towards support workers and housing brokers to help keep struggling tenants in rentals.
It comes as the Australian Council of Social Services called for a rise in Commonwealth Rental Assistance payments following a damning Productivity Commission report.
Speaking at the Victorian Homelessness Conference on Monday, Minister for Housing Richard Wynne announced an additional $4.8 million to roll out PRAP Plus, which will see 25 outreach workers and 21 extra private rental brokers deployed across the state.
"This program helps us support households in rental stress to hold onto their privately rented homes and avoid slipping into homelessness," Mr Wynne said.
"It helps us match private rentals with people in need, while supporting them to get established."
While a far cry from actually raising rental assistance payments for vulnerable renters, its a good start according to Brophy youth homelessness team manager Peter Hill.
"I think it's a step in the right direction, every little bit of help is welcomed," he said.
"We have limited resources to actually continue to support young people who have been successful obtaining a private rental, so that additional support from PRAP Plus will hopefully increase their chances of maintaining that tenancy.
"I think we are already doing the advocating part, so there's a bit of doubling up there, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
Mr Hill said it doesn't fix the region's growing rental crisis.
"It's a drop in the ocean really, without having access to affordable accommodation we're not going to fix the homelessness issue," he said.
"There's still a massive shortage in affordable housing and accommodation, so I think the money would be better invested in building affordable accommodation."
The additional support workers will be in place for two years.
In the last financial year PRAP helped 6,000 households get and stay housed in private rentals.
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