Monday 15 August 2022

Ahead of the Victorian State Election in November, we are advocating for a fair, permanent increase to Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP) funding. Here's the progress we've made so far.

Over 163 Neighbourhood Houses/Networks have sent out over 1,000 letters across the state. This has helped build awareness amongst State MPs about the issue of non-recurring additional funding, and the State Government’s apparent reluctance to make it a permanent part of NHCP.

As a result of the campaign, Tim Bull MP, the Shadow Minister for Disability, Carers and Seniors, announced that a Liberals-Nationals Government would commit to making this additional funding permanent.

In their media release, Tim stated: “We understand the terrific work done by our Neighbourhood Houses and their need to plan their future with certainty. We will not sit by and watch a number of them close leaving communities without vital programs that help regional families in the face of skyrocketing living costs.”

The Victorian Greens, The Reason Party, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and several independents have also expressed their support. You can read the responses in detail here.

The response from Labor MPs so far has been disappointing. A generic response states “Future funding arrangements for the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program will be considered as part of the 2024-25 State Budget process.” You can read the party line response here.

Securing these additional funds will have a significant impact for the sector and the communities we serve. It means 27 Neighbourhood Houses keep their doors open. It means 167 Houses can open longer, providing greater opportunities for community access and participation. It means Networkers have more hours to provide tailored support. The return on investment is significant.

We hope these efforts will Stop the Insecurity for Neighbourhood Houses, and allow them continue delivering support and care for the community.