WA based agencies launch portal allowing homeless to access available accommodation

Support for homeless: Online accommodation portal to launch in 2023

THE contract for a new, online portal has been awarded to a handful of Western Australian based organisations - with the aim of providing real-time accommodation availability to people experiencing homelessness.

The portal will be developed by non-profit IT company Infoxchange in partnership with sector-based organisations the Innovation Unit and Anglicare who will provide real-time data on available beds and supports across a wide range of service providers.

Anglicare Western Australia chief officer Mark Glasson said Anglicare's role in the project would be around raising awareness of the portal and engaging with the community to participate.

"Once the portal has been developed, we will be responsible for promoting it and providing access to training," Mr Glasson said.

"We expect the portal to provide better transparency regarding availability of accommodation to users - including those in Bunbury.

"Whilst it cannot address capacity, it can support improved efficiency for both service providers and people with lived experience."

The concept for the portal was identified following discussions between the Department of Communities and community service organisations, with input provided by people with a lived experience of homelessness.

Mr Glasson said while the new portal would not replace other mechanisms currently used to apply for accommodation, including face-to-face support.

"We understand there are many people who will find digital access, as well as literacy, a barrier both here in Bunbury and right around the state.

We expect the portal to provide better transparency regarding availability of accommodation to Bunbury users."

"While this initiative will greatly improve the process of finding accommodation in Bunbury, it is one of a number of tools, and will not replace the face-to-face support that is sometimes required.

"The portal will hold information about accommodation and support services, and their availability, and will be a tool for people to securely manage and share their confidential information."

The $2.25 million contract period run from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025.

The online portal is expected to launch early next year.