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Homelessness &
Affordable Housing

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Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has a longstanding commitment to alleviating homelessness. 

We are working on the systemic causes of homelessness to prevent it.  

We are also focused on ending enduring, entrenched homelessness. 

The Foundation recognises that the lack of affordable housing is one of the primary causes of homelessness.

As such we are working to increase the supply of quality affordable housing.  

The Foundation is working towards achieving the following outcomes (click each one to learn more):

  • Outcome 1: Increased supply of quality affordable housing.

    Melbourne’s housing market is one of the most unaffordable in the world, yet a home is central to better health and happiness. 

    The Foundation works to increase the number of very low and low income households living in affordable housing and to reduce housing affordability stress. 

    We support the development of quality affordable housing, which is sustainable, well-designed, and built in locations that have access to transport, amenities, schools and employment - increasing the life opportunities of residents.  
    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Strategic and creative responses to increasing affordable housing, including demonstrating innovative financial models.
    • Affordable housing developments that are innovative and can be used as prototypes.
    • Community awareness to increase public support for affordable housing developments.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.​

    Learn more about this outcome »
  • Outcome 2: Interventions that prevent entry into or entrenchment in homelessness.

    Homelessness in Melbourne is increasing.  

    The Foundation understands the complex range of issues that can lead someone to become homeless, including family violence, unexpected economic challenges, mental health issues, drug and alcohol and lack of affordable housing options, among others.

    We work to better understand the core, underlying issues that drive homelessness and, most importantly, to put these findings into best practice interventions.  

    We support early interventions, working systemically to prevent entry and entrenchment in homelessness. 
    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Organisations and interventions that utilise Housing First principles.
    • Research to better understand what interventions work.
    • Collaboration between sectors, to reduce drivers of homelessness.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.​

    Learn more about this outcome »

Download the Homelessness & Affordable Housing Overview Brochure »

Does your organisation's work align with the outcomes of this Impact Area?

Learn about our Grants Program and speak to Erin Dolan, Program Manager - Homeless & Affordable Housing.



Learn more about the issues affecting our community

Our Greater Melbourne Vital Signs Report provides a snapshot of the health, wellbeing and vitality of Greater Melbourne. The report identifies positive aspects of our community, as well as the issues we face, and informs the Foundation's strategy. 

Recent Grants

Seed Innovation Grants

Monash UniversityUnequivocal Women’s Housing: Quality affordable housing and landscaping for women at risk of homelessness.
This project addresses the need for user-focused feedback to provide a framework for future, affordable, fit-for-purpose housing types for women. The project will analyse a series of case studies of existing housing types; refuge, boarding house, tiny house, apartment, townhouse and family home, provided for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
RMIT UniversityEnhancing support services for people with disability and complex needs in permanent supportive housing.
This project will build an evidence base regarding the support needs of people with lived experience of homelessness and disability (including psychosocial) living in permanent supportive housing in the City of Melbourne. Using a case study methodology this project will develop key principles and strategies for a Disability Support and Systems Framework for this population.
Western Community Legal Centre Limited (WEstjustice)International Students Accommodation Legal Service - Regulation of Unsafe Housing.
WEstjustice will research how many international students reside in situations of precarious or unsafe tenure and how many 'rooming houses' exist in small CBD and inner suburban properties unsuitable for such use. This will help to improve oversight and enforcement under the Residential Tenancies and Public Health and Wellbeing Acts for inappropriate rooming house spaces and encourage students to report rogue landlords.

Scaling-up Innovation Grants

Jesuit Social ServicesRestore.
Jesuit Social Services is piloting a therapeutic intervention program, RESTORE, at the Melbourne Children’s Court which applies Restorative Practice principles and offers a Family Group Conference process for civil cases involving young people who are using family violence in the home.
MacKillop Family ServicesSafe relationships: working with young men who use violence.
MacKillop will pilot an early intervention program with 50 young males (aged 12-17 years) and their families who have or show signs of potential violence or sexual violence in the family/home or dating contexts or have been exposed to family violence.
McAuley Community Services for WomenTop of Shops Project Worker.
Engagement of a Project Worker for two years dedicated to exploring and facilitating new accommodation opportunities for women who are or at risk of homelessness due to family violence and mental health.

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Key Stats


24,817 Victorians were homeless on census night 2016.


164,000 affordable housing units required to fulfil estimated deficit for very low and low-income households in Victoria.


Melbourne is ranked fourth in the world for the most unaffordable housing market.

Impact Stories

“Sometimes we think social issues are too big, but if we deal with these issues together, in a collaborative manner, we can actually achieve social change.”

Fiona Reidy | Rory McCaffrey Reconciliation Fund

“Sometimes we think social issues are too big, but if we deal with these issues together, in a collaborative manner, we can actually achieve social change.”

Fiona Reidy | Rory McCaffrey Reconciliation Fund

Make an impact

Donate to the Homelessness & Affordable Housing Impact Area