Zero Project: Housing First Coordination for WA

Authored by:

Paul Flatau, Shannen Vallesi, Lisa Wood

Status: In Progress

The Centre for Social Impact UWA is a key research partner on the Zero Project (previously known as the 50 Lives 50 Homes project).

Led by Ruah Community Services, the project adopts a ‘Housing First’ model - an internationally evidenced model that uses a recovery-oriented approach to end homelessness in WA, including rapid access to housing and wrap-around support. 

The collective impact approach of Zero Project towards ending homelessness builds on the success of the innovative 50 Lives 50 Homes project, working with communities across the Perth metropolitan area, Geraldton, Mandurah, Bunbury and Rockingham.

The Zero Project employs an Advance to Zero methodology that counts down the number of people needing housing, as opposed to counting the number of people housed.

Download each of the research reports and additional resources via the links below.

First Evaluation Report

The first research study (June 2017) showed how long term homelessness is associated with high levels of health problems, trauma and disability. Within its first year, the Zero Project housed 42 individuals and 8 families.

Second Evaluation Report

The second research report (September 2018) described the progress of the Zero Project in relation to housing, health and justice outcomes. Administrative hospital and police data was used to look at preliminary changes in contacts with these sectors once clients had been housed for 6 or 12 months.

Third Evaluation Report

The third evaluation report (April 2020) provided an in-depth examination of housing outcomes and tenancy retention, and reported on changes in hospital use (emergency department, inpatient admissions and ambulance use) for eight Perth metropolitan hospitals and justice system contacts (WA Police Force contacts and court appearances) for those people housed for one year or more and for a smaller cohort of those housed for two or more years.

An Evaluation Snapshot: Aboriginal Experiences of Housing First

Launched in May 2021, the most recent research project report, Aboriginal Experiences of Housing First, by Associate Professor Lisa Wood and Shannen Vallesi, found that wait times differed significantly between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal rough sleepers.

The report makes several recommendations to improve the way in which housing providers engaged with Aboriginal tenants and potential tenants, including the employment of more Aboriginal support workers and an increase in larger homes to accommodate family obligations.

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