initial assessment and planning

Our homelessness services are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and include:

Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP)

Our IAP service is one of the primary access points for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne.

This service provides:

  • Assessment of housing and support needs
  • Referral to crisis, transitional or longer term accommodation, and specialist support providers
  • Housing related information
  • Advocacy on your behalf
  • Limited financial assistance through the Housing Establishment Funds
  • Private Rental Access Program

Housing Establishment Funds (HEF)

HEF is a form of financial assistance that is administered by the IAP team. Its purpose is to assist people of low incomes to:

  • Address housing crisis
  • Establish and maintain stable housing

Private Rental Access Program (PRAP)

The PRAP program supports people to secure or maintain private rental accommodation through information, advocacy and outreach support. Limited brokerage assistance is available for rent/and or bond and, in some cases rental arrears. The private rental access worker can be accessed via the IAP team.

Eligibility and How to Apply

You can access your nearest IAP entry point for an assessment by calling 1800 825 955. Our service is funded to provide assistance to people in the areas of Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, and the north and the western areas of the City of Melbourne. We recommend you contact the IAP service in the area you are living, however all efforts will be made to provide assistance even if you are from outside these areas.


transitional housing

The aim of the transitional housing program is to provide safe and affordable short to medium term accommodation combined with support to assist people to begin to address any issues that may have contributed to their situation; and work towards re-establishing secure housing as soon as possible.

The housing is provided by DHHS and managed by Unison in partnership with a wide range of support agencies.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Transitional housing is for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. You must be at least 16 years of age, and on a low income. Income limits are set by DHHS and can be viewed here:

This program is accessed through the IAP entry point. Eligibility and prioritisation is based on an assessment of needs and available resourcing. If you have any questions regarding accessing transitional housing, eligibility, or nominating agencies and support, please call 1800 825 955.

Private Rental Access Program

Our Initial Access and Planning (IAP) program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide an Access Point for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Western Melbourne and Wyndham areas. 

Since 2013 the IAP program has also delivered a Private Rental Access (PRAP) program.  The PRAP builds on services provided by the IAP team and works to assist people to secure and maintain private rental accommodation.  This is achieved through developing relationships with Real Estate Agents and distributing flexible packages of financial assistance. The PRAP also has a focus on preventing eviction from private rental in the catchment.

In November 2016, Unison received additional funding to expand the PRAP program to assist more people and families to secure and maintain private rental accommodation.

For further information, and assistance, please contact our service on (03) 9396 1667.