Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment of Refugee Transitional Housing Support Program
Brief Summary of the Report One of the most significant challenges experienced by humanitarian entrants in Fairfield LGA is the high rental costs. This is often in response to the influx of large number of humanitarian entrants. The arrival of humanitarian entrants does not stimulate housing development and often humanitarian entrants are competing with others who can pay rent at higher rates to secure accommodation. Therefore, humanitarian entrants in Fairfield are more likely to experience rental stress as they spend a significant proposition of income on rent. Service providers see clients who pay up to 80% of their income on rent. This has detrimental effects on the ability of humanitarian entrants to settle and adjust to life in Australia. Humanitarian entrants, who struggle to find employment on arrival, may not be able to meet basic needs of their households The situation of humanitarian entrants on arrival in Fairfield City suggests that a rent subsidy scheme tailored specifically to meet their needs can help ease housing stress and improve the critical early settlement experience. This report proposes a rent subsidy scheme for 50 humanitarian entrant households in Fairfield as a pilot modelled on existing schemes in NSW. Interviews with local service providers and the Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment (MWIA) were used to assess the potential impact of the proposed pilot on the mental wellbeing of humanitarian entrants in Fairfield. The results show that the proposed subsidy and support would improve their mental wellbeing.
The Fairfield Housing Taskforce The Fairfield Housing Taskforce was set up to address housing issues as part of the Fairfield City Settlement Action Plan (FCSAP). FCSAP outlines issues and challenges associated with refugee settlement and aims to identify solutions and actions to help address them. It provides a collaborative and strategic approach to the delivery of settlement services in Fairfield City. Fairfield City Council endorsed the FCSAP. The Housing Taskforce represents various agencies including Department of Communities and Justice, Hume Housing, Settlement Services International (SSI) Core Community Services (CORE CS) Assyrian Resource Centre and South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD)