Council has a strong policy position on housing and homelessness. It is also part of a Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter Group.

Council's position on housing and homelessness is clearly set out in our Summary Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030(PDF, 2MB).

Read on for information and guidance if you are:

  • Searching for help with housing or homelessness issues.
  • Renting, buying or building a home.
  • Trying to learn about homelessness on the Peninsula.
  • Wanting to know what Council is doing to help.
  • Investigating options for helping people who are homeless.

Food and other help

Our lives change. Sometimes we give help and, at other times, we need to ask for help. It is all OK!

Thankfully, there is a network of help for all sorts of people. And all sorts of problems.

Find help at home. Improve your situation with free food and groceries, or affordable clothing, appliances and furniture.

There is help for crisis situations, finding housing, managing your money and legal problems. Learn about transport options.

See listings of community health centres, community directories and helplines. Get maps.

This guide helps you connect up to what you need.

Download: Food and other help guide Edition 9(PDF, 3MB)

Housing crisis on our Peninsula

Our housing market is in crisis. Can you help?

  • There are not enough affordable homes for our locals
  • There has been a 31% increase in rents over the last year, causing significant rental stress
  • There are nearly 4,000 residents on the public housing waiting list
  • The state and federal government are not providing enough social and affordable housing

Council is advocating strongly on this issue, but is there something you can do to help?

  • Do you have a house on the short-term rental market on the Peninsula? Would you use it for long-term rental instead?
  • Do you have a holiday home on the Peninsula that could be added to the long-term rental market?

Contact your local real estate agent to discuss these options.

Every additional rental home counts.

  • Are you a landlord? Could you keep the rent affordable for your tenant?
  • Could you make your rental property more energy efficient to reduce living costs? mornpen.vic.gov.au/saveenergy

To add your voice to our campaign for more affordable housing on the Peninsula: mornpen.vic.gov.au/homelessness

Housing and other help

For help with housing call the 24 hour Victorian Homelessness Line 1800 825 955 (free) that connects to The Salvation Army Homelessness service.  This service also has offices at Frankston (Phone: 9784 5000) and Rosebud (Phone: 5986 000) that can be contacted directly during office hours.  

For more information, you can also visit the State Government Housing website.

Ask Izzy for information about housing and other support services throughout Australia, it also includes information for the Mornington Peninsula.  

Community Support Centres:

There are three community support and information centres located at Mornington, Hastings and Rosebud that can provide a range of support, referral and emergency relief services. 

Mornington Community Information and Support Centre
Southern Peninsula Community Support
Western Port Community Support

Further Information:

The Keeping your home and living safely(PDF, 596KB) guide is useful for people wanting to understand the broad range of help that is available

The Food and Other Help(PDF, 3MB) guide is useful for finding out about locally based assistance on the Mornington Peninsula for food, groceries, transport, money management, wi-fi, computers, legal advice, and other matters.  It also includes useful helplines and directories.

Further information for support workers:

If you are a worker or volunteer assisting someone who is homeless, or at risk of homelessness,  you might also find the following local Shire guides useful:

Housing Support Guide(PDF, 334KB)

Integrated Assertive Outreach Planning Tool for the Mornington Peninsula(PDF, 421KB)

Downloads and links:

Ask Izzy
Food and Other Help guide, Edition 9(PDF, 3MB)
Keeping Your Home and Living Safely guide(PDF, 596KB)
Housing Support Guide(PDF, 334KB)  (for non-housing workers on the Mornington Peninsula)
Integrated Assertive Outreach Planning Tool for the Mornington Peninsula(PDF, 421KB)
Mornington Peninsula Child and Youth Directory
State government website for help with housing decisions

Frequently asked questions: about homelessness

What is homelessness?

Homelessness is defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  It includes people who are rough sleeping, sleeping in vehicles, couch surfing or residing in places with no private living areas (e.g. rooming houses).

How many people are homeless on the Mornington Peninsula?

  • The ABS 2016 homelessness estimates for the southern metropolitan region are contained in a poster and report by the Southern Homelessness Services Network.  The report includes a breakdown by local government area and the different categories of homelessness. The 2021 estimates are yet to be released.
  • ABS 2016 homelessness estimates show the Mornington Peninsula had the sixth highest number of people sleeping rough for any municipality in Victoria.
  • The housing outcomes for people seeking assistance from Specialist Homelessness Services in our Southern Region is shown in the Local Area Service Network Data.  Whilst some achieve good housing outcomes many remain homeless with no shelter or in temporary accommodation. In the 2021-22 Quarter 2 of those who sought assistance (approximately 10,000) about 45% were homeless at the end of the support period.
  • The Victorian Housing Register is a central register of all households that are currently waiting for social housing (this includes public housing and community housing that is managed by a registered housing agency).  The Register has a “Priority Access” category and a “Register of Interest” category and shows locational preferences of applicants.  There are close to 3,000 applicants seeking housing on the Port Phillip side of the Peninsula and close to 1,000 applicants seeking housing on the Westernport side of the Peninsula with the vast majority eligible for Priority Access (each applicant gets up to 5 locational preferences and some might have listed both sides of the Peninsula as well as areas outside the Peninsula). The shortfall of social and affordable housing on the Peninsula, forces many of our local residents to reluctantly leave the Peninsula in their search for affordable housing.
  • Other data from the Salvation Army – Homelessness service and the Shire’s three Community Support and Information Centres is contained in the Council’s submission into the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria.
  • The housing stress on the Mornington Peninsula is shown by the Housing monitor demographic data on the Shire's website.

What is Council doing about homelessness?

  • Council has declared a housing crisis.
  • The primary responsibility for the provision of social and affordable housing, matched with funding capability, lies with Federal and State Governments. However, Council also acknowledges that it has an important, although limited, role to play. 
  • Council has adopted a Triple A Housing Plan 2020 – 2030 to guide its actions in achieving affordable, appropriate and available (Triple A) housing for everyone. This is also supported by a Social and Affordable Housing Policy and a Rooming House Policy.
  • Under the Triple A Housing Plan, Council is seeking outcomes including:

The supply of social housing is increased to satisfy the needs of local persons on the Victorian Housing Register waiting list or, is at least, equivalent to the State average.

People without homes are treated with respect and have access to shelter, food and basic utilities in a context that prioritises health and safety, pathways into accommodation and community inclusion.

All housing assistance services, governments, registered housing providers and community organisations will work in a collaborative manner to both prevent homelessness and provide homelessness support services

Homelessness is destigmatised and people who are homeless or in housing stress are readily accepted, included and assisted by the community.

  • Council is actively advocating for more social and affordable housing.  For example, Mr John Baker, the Shire’s CEO supplemented Council’s written submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria by making a presentation at an online Inquiry hearing.
  • Council has joined the Regional Local Government Charter on Social Housing and Homelessness to bring greater power to local government advocacy.
  • The Shire supports the Peninsula Housing Network and the operation of its Multi-agency case review group to coordinate services for people who are rough sleeping. 
  • The operation of the three Community  Support Centres that are located at Hastings, Mornington and Rosebud are partly subsidised by Council.
  • Council partners Fusion Mornington Peninsula to provide a property for youth supported accommodation.
  • The Shire disseminates information and guides, like the Food and other help guide, to assist people who are homeless know what is available to help them.
  • If you would like to learn more or discuss an idea, please contact the Shire's Community Partnerships Team.

Why are there people who are rough sleeping?

  • Homelessness is a serious problem throughout most areas of Australia and key stakeholders, including Council, are advocating for system reform so that everyone has a home.
  • There is an under-supply of affordable and social housing (i.e. community housing and public housing) on the Mornington Peninsula, particularly one or two bedroom dwellings.  There is no dedicated, affordable emergency accommodation and our supply of social housing is below the average for Victoria. 

How do I find a speaker about homelessness?

  • Councillors and Shire officers may be available to speak about homelessness.  Phone 5950 1000.
  • The Salvation Army Homelessness Rosebud office (Phone: 5986 0000) may be asked to provide speakers for events.
  • Council to Homeless Persons PESP Coordinator (Phone: 8415 6210).  The Peer Education Support Program can provide speakers with lived experience of homelessness.
  • Fusion Mornington Peninsula (Phone: 5974 1442).  Fusion assists young people with various programs including youth supported accommodation.  It offers speakers and educational resources for school programs and other events.
  • Community Support Centres work to support people who are in need, including people who are homeless. 

 Other agencies listed in the Shire’s Food and other help guide, may also be a source for speakers. 

Frequently asked questions: by people who are facing homelessness

I am desperate, I have never been homeless before, what can I do?

  • There is no shame in being homeless and asking for help.  An unexpected turn of life events can put most people in that situation.
  • Check out what help with housing is available.
  • Act quickly and contact a local office of The Salvation Army Homelessness - Peninsula service (TSA) during business hours.
  • TSA at 17-19 Ninth Avenue, Rosebud (phone: 5986 0000  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)
  • TSA at 37 Ross Smith Avenue East, Frankston (phone: 9784 5000 Monday to Friday)

After hours advice (24 hours seven days/week) is also available from the Victorian Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955.

  • Seek emergency relief and support from one of the three Community Support Centres at Hastings, Mornington or Rosebud:

What relief is there from the impacts of COVID upon housing?

The coronavirus has added an extra risk to people who are without a home or sharing accommodation.  It also has meant that people may have been stood down or lost their job or business.  They may no longer be able to afford their rent or mortgage.

 A range of assistance is available, it includes:

  • TSA at 17-19 Ninth Avenue, Rosebud (phone: 5986 0000 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)
  • TSA at 37 Ross Smith Avenue East, Frankston (phone: 9784 5000 Monday to Friday)
  •  Emergency relief, information, support and referrals:

How can I get food and other help?

I am going to be evicted, what can I do?

  • TSA at 17-19 Ninth Avenue, Rosebud (phone: 5986 0000 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)
  • TSA at 37 Ross Smith Avenue East, Frankston (phone: 9784 5000 Monday to Friday)

After hours advice (24 hours seven days/week) is also available from the Victorian Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955.

What homelessness support services exist for people who are rough sleeping?

  • Bolton Clarke Homeless Persons Program (Phone: 1300 22 11 22) This program provides a primary healthcare response to people on the streets, in parks or living in rooming houses or low cost accommodation.  This includes outreach visits, nursing care and connection to other agencies that can assist with housing, meals, financial aid and the like.
  • Seek emergency relief and support:

What homelessness support services exist for older people?

  • Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG). (Phone: 9654 7389) HAAG provides a range of advice, support and referrals for people who are over 50 years. This includes advice about retirement housing.
  • Peninsula Health Homeless Outreach Program (Phone: 1300 655 781) This program is also known as the Peninsula Health MI program.  It provides support for eligible people to improve and maintain their health status and quality of life whilst they are homeless or living in insecure accommodation. You are eligible if:
  • you are over 50 years (or if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, over 45 years); and, 
  • need support to understand and access aged care services; or, connect with other supports (e.g. health, housing services, social support).

What homelessness support services exist for people affected by family violence?

  • If in danger, call 000.
  • Safer Steps Response Centre: (Phone: 1800 015 188).  This is a 24 hour service and can assist with finding housing at times of crisis as well as other supports for people affected by family violence.
  • Orange Door (Phone 1800 319 353)  This operates 9am to 5pm. It is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.
  • Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand: (Phone: 5970 5700)  Good Shepherd has offices at Hastings and Mornington from which it offers counselling, support and other services including access to emergency housing.

What homelessness support services exist for children and young people?

  • Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Children and family services (Phone: 5950 1099) The Shire has a range of free services for young children and families.  There is a special maternal and child health program to provide enhanced support for young families with children up to 5 years who are facing complex welfare issues including homelessness.
  • Fusion Mornington Peninsula (Phone: 5974 1442).  Fusion’s mission is Strengthening Young People through a Community Based Response. Educating, Accommodating, Supporting and Sharing Life.  It offers youth supported accommodation at Mount Martha and other youth and community work services, connections and activities for people aged between 15 and 21 years.  Referrals to the supported accommodation are taken from workers in other agencies, such as the Salvation Army Homelessness Service.
  • Whitelion (Phone: 9783 1664).  Whitelion’s Southern Homeless Youth Assistance Program is based at Suite 1, 39A Davey Street Frankston. It provides outreach-based case management and brief intervention support for young people (between 12 and 25 years) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It may provide connections to housing options, assist with family reunification, assist to stabilise housing placements, and connect young people to mental health services, family violence services, income support and other priorities identified by the young person. 
  • Melbourne City Mission (Phone: 1800 474 993). Melbourne City Mission runs a specialised “Frontyard” service for people aged 12 to 24 years that includes emergency accommodation and other services based at 19 King St Melbourne.  These notably include the Detour Program and the Family Reconciliation Mediation Program.  The Detour Program aims to get young people back on track, and diverted away from homelessness.
  • Salvation Army - Youth Services (Phone: 9781 0188)  The Salvation Army Youth Services T21 Program is an integrated housing and support model for young people aged 16-25 years.  The program provides accommodation and delivers independent living and life skill programs. Over a two year period, young people are also given access to accredited education and training and to employment opportunities. A Family Reconciliation program also operates out of the Centre which aims to assist young people resolve conflicts and re-establish relationships with their families and others who play an important role in their lives.  It accepts referrals from workers in other agencies and these should be directed to The Salvation Army Homelessness Rosebud office.
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Youth Services (Phone: 1300 850 600) The Shire’s Youth Services team operated youth programs and youth centres at Hastings, Mornington, Rosebud and Somerville.  They can assist with referrals and general advice.
  • The State's Youth Central website also provides some great advice for young people who are moving out for the first time.

What homelessness support services exist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?

  • Ngwala Willumbong (Phone: 9510 3233)  A Specialist Homelessness Service that provides outreach to those in crisis and help to provide emergency accommodation, as well as more stable and long-term housing.  Residential rehabilitation programs for men and women are also provided.
  • Aboriginal Housing Victoria (Phone: 9403 2100) Aboriginal Housing Victoria is a provider of long-term housing and does not offer emergency accommodation. 
  • Peninsula Health Homeless Outreach Program (Phone: 1300 655 781) This Program has an Aboriginal Support Worker and will do outreach. People who are over 45 years are eligible. The program seeks to improve and maintain people’s health status and quality of life whilst they are homeless or living in insecure accommodation.

I want to shift to the Mornington Peninsula, can you help me?

  • Are you aware that there is a shortage of affordable housing and no dedicated emergency accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula, particularly one and two bedroom properties? A suitable home maybe hard to find.
  • If you need assistance you should contact your local specialist homelessness service for your current address – they can be found by phoning the Victorian Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955.  (The system works by getting assistance from your local area to make a shift.)

Frequently asked questions: by people who want to help

I have noticed someone sleeping rough, what should I do?

  • Being homeless is not a crime. The unfortunate situation of a person being homeless is, by itself, not something that should be referred for Shire investigation.
  • The Shire does help to coordinate welfare service outreach to ensure that anyone who is rough sleeping has an opportunity to learn about what services are available.  You are welcome to contact the Shire in relation to this matter.
  • Any associated concerns about tripping hazards or the like should be reported to the Shire.
  • Any concerns about the health of the person, should be treated as for any other person, and an ambulance called if required.
  • Sometimes in creating a pathway to accommodation for someone who has a long history of rough sleeping it requires a coordinated effort from relevant agencies and the community.  If you are supporting someone who is rough sleeping, you are welcome to contact the The Victorian Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955 or the Shire's Community Partnership Team on 5950 1000 for advice.

How can I help people who are homeless?

  • Learn about homelessness and treat people with respect.
  • If you have a short term rental property, consider listing it on the private rental market for long term, instead of short term accommodation.
  • If you have a vacant property, consider whether it could be listed for long term rental.
  • If you plan to redevelop a property, do not undertake premature demolition if the property is suitable for the private rental market.  
  • If you have a spare room, consider sharing your home.  It may be with a family member, friend or someone else that you find via a real estate agent or a social media app.
  • If your land is suitable (check with the Shire), consider developing a secondary dwelling in your backyard.
  • If your land is suitable (check with the Shire), consider having a unit in your backyard for a dependent relative.
  • If you are in the media, comply with the Media Guidelines for Reporting on Homelessness
  • Make a donation to a charity or homelessness service. Refer to the Shire’s Food and other help guide for a list of these.
  • If you would like to make a major donation to help fund the development of new social housing consider making a donation to a registered housing agency that operates on the Mornington Peninsula, the Shire can inform you of the relevant agencies.
  • Volunteer with a group that provides homelessness support.  Refer to the Shire’s Food and other help guide for a list of these.  Also refer to the Volunteering Mornington Peninsula website to view existing volunteering vacancies.
  • Join a campaign that is advocating for change to the system.

The Campaigns that Council supports, and that you as an individual can also support are:

    • Support for first home buyers.
    • A national housing strategy.
    • A better deal for renters.
    • Immediate relief for Australians in chronic rental stress.
    • A plan to end homelessness by 2030.
  • Back Your Neighbour Campaign  This campaign seeks outcomes that will help to prevent homelessness amongst asylum seekers.
  • Youth 2 Campaign  This is a campaign to seek the establishment of youth crisis accommodation and a Youth Foyer (supported youth accommodation linked to a tertiary education commitment) to serve the Frankston/Mornington Peninsula area.  Please contact the Shire's Community Partnership Team on 5950 1000  for more information.

I have helped out a person who is homeless, but what else can be done?

  • Your kindness and generosity is appreciated.  It is fantastic that people like yourself step up to help people who are in need.
  • Perhaps offer a lift to an appointment or be a buddy for their home hunting.
  • Contact The Salvation Army Homelessness Rosebud office for further advice on 5986 0000. 

How could I offer my home to someone who is homeless?

Thank you so much for thinking about this, homelessness is a serious problem on the Mornington Peninsula and everyone’s help is needed.

Some of the things to think about are:

  • If it is a holiday home, how often will it be available?  A few days at a time, or for many months?
  • If you are thinking of offering temporary accommodation, get legal advice at the start so that you have a lawful plan for ending the accommodation when required.
  • What level of income do you need to generate from the home? Who would pay the utility bills? Market rental rates are often beyond the means of someone who is reliant on welfare benefits.  Consider discounting the rent so that the household that you wish to accommodate is able to afford it.  Affordable housing is commonly regarded as being up to 30 per cent of a household’s income including wages and payments from Centrelink and the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • What level of risk to your property are you prepared to accept?  Should you take out insurance?  What references will you require?  Do you still want to have control over your garden maintenance and cleaning?
  • Who will undertake your tenancy selection and management? This could be yourself, a real estate agent or a registered housing agency (such agencies have experience in managing social housing).  Whomever it is, they could partner with a local homelessness service in sourcing suitable candidates.  The main Homelessness Service on the Mornington Peninsula is the Salvation Army Homelessness Service (phone: 5986 1000) but there are also housing workers operating from Western Port Community Support (phone: 5979 2762) and Southern Peninsula Community Support (phone: 5986 1285).

People who are facing homelessness may often benefit from support to maintain their health and wellbeing.  Support can contribute towards a successful, temporary tenancy with active searching for permanent housing.

Keeping the occupation of your home to 3 or less unrelated people avoids the need for various approvals.  If this is not your plan, please contact the Shire for further advice.

Non-profit programs to assist homeowners to share their property include:

  • Movable units for homeowners  This is a State program that provides movable units free of charge for property owner’s backyards where the unit is to be occupied by a person who is dependent upon the owner. The occupier pays an affordable rent to the State. The plans of the units and more information are available on the website.
  • Uniting Homeshare program Homeshare matches people who are over 65 years who need companionship and some practical help to live at home (Householders) with people who need accommodation (Homesharers). Homesharers provide companionship, an overnight presence and up to 10 hours of practical help per week instead of rent. Homesharers provide their own food and a share of utility bills.

Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance (HANZA) is the peak body for organisations operating homeshare programs - their website lists their members. However there are many real estate and social media apps that also facilitate the establishment of group households on a commercial basis that do not belong to HANZA. 

I am interested in building a home for people with disability, what should I know?

  • The NDIS is a scheme that provides funding to people with an eligible disability to support their living needs on an individualised basis.  Available payments include a Housing Payment for Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA), Supported Independent Living (SIL) Payment and an Independent Living Option (ILO) payment. 
  • There are four types of SDA, each with specific standards but only about 6% of NDIS participants would be eligible for this.  You would need to be a registered provider with the NDIA to provide SDA.  See the SDA Finder.  It lists all SDA accommodation that is available.
  • SIL payment, is a payment to assist a person live independently as possible in a shared environment.  Persons with these payments, but not eligible for SDA, would be expected to find and pay for their own housing.  It may, or may not, require any special features, but will likely require visiting support workers. 
  • SIL providers need to be registered and when a home is shared by multiple people with a disability qualifying for SIL, conditions might be imposed by the housing provider for them to share the same SIL provider. 
  • An ILO is a new payment that focuses on supporting living arrangements of a person that are not predicated on living with other people with a disability. A new ILO policy is still under preparation.  This would allow non SDA housing types.
  • Vacancies suitable for someone with an ILO or SIL payment could be provided to BSL, the Salvation Army - Homelessness Service or advertised in the normal way.  There are two web sites known to specialise in housing options for people with a disability – they are: GoNest and Housing Hub(Disclaimer: This reference is for information purposes only, and none of these web sites comes with any endorsement from the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.)  

Buying a home

If you are searching for a new home, the following information could be useful.  It might keep you safer, save you money with smaller bills or help you find a home that is adaptable to your changing needs. 

Downloads and links:  

Buying a home - Find out what to expect and check.
Retirement villages - Find out what more from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Residential parks and caravan parks - Find out more from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Consumer Affairs Victoria - Your rights and responsibilities, how to resolve disputes, what to check and where to find help.
Livable and adaptable housing - Design a home that can adapt to your changing needs.
Find the nearest bus stop/train station - Think about how you would get around without a car.
Home safety - Think about keeping yourself safe with fire prevention, smoke alarms and house numbering.

Building or extending a home

If you are planning to build a new home or extend your existing home, the following information could be useful.  It might save you time and money and help you make decisions that will improve the character of your neighbourhood.  It could also help you age in place and make your home more adaptable as your household changes.   

Consumer Affairs Victoria - Your rights and responsibilities, how to resolve disputes, what to check and where to find help.
Livable and adaptable housing - Design a home that can adapt to your changing needs.
4 Step Context Analysis Guide(PDF, 3MB) - Design a home that fits the character of the area.
Building Fact Files - Information about building permit processes.
Planning Guidelines - Information about planning permit processes and what is allowed.
Home safety - Think about keeping yourself safe with fire prevention, smoke alarms and house numbering.

Renting a home

If you are searching for a new home, dealing with a landlord or wanting to make your home safer the following information could be useful.  It might help you resolve disputes, keep you safer, save you money with smaller bills and help you age in place. 

Downloads and links:  

Home safety - Think about keeping yourself safe with fire prevention, smoke alarms and house numbering.
State Government website for help with housing decisions
Find the nearest bus stop/train station - Think about how you would get around without a car.
Consumer Affairs Victoria - Information about rights and responsibilities, how to resolve disputes and where to find help.

Retirement villages

Consumer Affairs Victoria provides useful information for people who are:

  • Thinking about moving into a retirement village.
  • Living in a retirement village.
  • Leaving a retirement village.

Downloads and links:  

Consumer Affairs Information about retirement villages.

Residential aged care

Residential aged care is for older people who can no longer live independently at home.  It can provide long term and short term care. There are a range of residential aged care facilities on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Residential aged care is funded by the Australian Government to make it affordable. To find out more, phone the My Aged Care Team on 1800 200 422 or visit the myagedcare website.

Downloads and links:

My AgedCare

Supported residential services

Supported residential services (SRS) are privately operated businesses that provide accommodation and support services for people who need help with everyday activities.  The are registered and monitored by the Government under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Regulations 2012.

For more information about moving into or living in an SRS see the link below.  There is also information for prospective SRS proprietors. 

Downloads and links 

Living in an SRS: a guide for residents and prospective residents
Information about SRS
Victorian SRS Register

Rooming house developers and operators

If you are proposing a rooming house you might find the following information useful:

  • Council’s Rooming House Policy supports rooming houses and seeks ones that are both well designed and properly managed.
  • “New generation” rooming houses with private ensuites and limited kitchen facilities are preferred under the Policy as they provide more amenity and less potential for conflict amongst occupants. Rooming houses with options for pets would also be attractive to clients.
  • Refer to Rooming houses residents guide   to get an overview of the complexity and interaction of the various laws that apply from a resident's perspective.
  • Learn about Rooming House Operator licencing requirements
  • Learn about Prescribed accommodation registration requirements.
  • A planning permit may also be required for some rooming houses.  Please check with the Shire’s Planning Services team.
  • If you are planning to target your accommodation to a specific group of people then you will also need to comply with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.  See more guidance about this from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
  • Contact your private Building Surveyor to understand Building Permit requirements.
  • The only towns within the Mornington Peninsula that have Rooming houses are Mount Martha, Hastings and Capel Sound.  A spread rather than a cluster of rooming houses will best serve housing needs.
  • Learn from other rooming house operators through the Registered Accommodation Association of Victoria which promotes best practice in the rooming house sector.
  • People often look to rooming houses as a place of last resort if they lose better accommodation options. People in this type of situation will usually have very limited assets and an income that is dependent upon government benefits. Some may be chronically homeless or have complex problems and not be connected to relevant health and welfare services. Others may be newly homeless and see rooming houses as a stepping stone back into private accommodation. There is also a group of people who have long term residence in rooming houses.
  • The management support that is provided should consider matters including waste management (including waste minimisation and recycling, rubbish collection frequency with any variations required for tenant changeovers) cleaning services, access and security arrangements, recruitment process for tenants (will existing tenants have an opportunity to participate?), consultation with tenants and emergency planning including during pandemics.
  • Management and support of rooming house occupants, preferably on-site, is ideal to encourage connection to relevant welfare services and prevent problems arising within the rooming house. (Outreach activities by health and welfare agencies are very limited and should not be relied upon for regular rooming house visitation).
  • Having said that, a partnership with a registered housing agency to undertake tenancy management could be explored. There are eleven who are active on the Peninsula, but only one that operates a large rooming house, that being Women’s Housing Ltd who run a rooming house of 45 rooms at Mount Martha.
  • Specialist Homelessness Services who assist people who are homeless may refer people to lawful, well-managed rooming houses vacancies if better, private accommodation is not available.
  • The cost of rooming house accommodation for residents is a key consideration – generally 30% of income is considered affordable.  People who have very high housing costs may find themselves in situations where they cannot afford food, medication or other essentials like transport and be reliant upon others for assistance. In testing the feasibility of a proposal it is strongly recommended that the financial and wellbeing implications for residents be taken into account.
  • The Council does not administer all approvals that are required but it does have a system of coordination for the four teams within Council (i.e. Planning Services, Environmental Health, Building and Social Planning and Community Development) that have an interest in rooming house proposals. 
  • If you need more information, please contact the Shire’s Social Planning and Community Development team on 5950 1000 (ext. 1911).

Downloads and links:  

Rooming House Policy(PDF, 184KB) - Rooming houses, depending upon their nature, may require separate building, planning and health approvals.
Consumer Affairs Victoria - Information about Rooming House Operators licensing, rights and responsibilities, how to resolve disputes and where to find help.
Registered Accommodation Association of Victoria - A peak body for privately owned and operated rooming houses that promotes best practice, including guidelines sponsored by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Register of rooming houses

Housing data and research

The Shire's Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030 (full version)(PDF, 7MB) provides a housing and homelessness snapshot for the Mornington Peninsula.    It describes rising levels of homelessness including rough sleeping, an undersupply of social housing, unaffordability in the housing market and a range of people being at risk.  For more detailed data check out the following links

Downloads and links:

Mornington Peninsula - The housing story of the Mornington Peninsula as told by .id demographers including ABS Census data.
HillPDA Consulting (February 2018) Equity Land Trust Feasibility Project Final Report, Mornington Peninsula Shire(PDF, 2MB)
Mornington Peninsula Shire (February 2016) Housing and Rental Affordability Report(PDF, 3MB)
Victorian Housing Register - centralised waiting list data for social housing which includes public housing and community housing
Rental Report - statistics on the private rental market
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - national data on specialist homelessness services.
Department of Land, Water and Planning - housing land data.
Victorian Building Authority - building permit data.
Council of Homeless Persons - includes local and regional data from the Specialist Homelessness Services Network
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
Australian Homelessness Monitor
Rental Affordability Index
Social Statistics for Victorian Communities
Final Report of the Parliament of Victoria Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria
Australian Productivity Commission Report on Government Services - National/State data about housing and homelessness expenditure and effectiveness

Housing policy

Council has a strong policy position on housing and homelessness. It is also part of a Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter Group.

Council's position on housing and homelessness is clearly set out in its Council and Wellbeing Plan and Summary Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030(PDF, 2MB).  See the full range of policy and plans in the links below.

The Council's policies and plans supplement those of the State and Federal Governments. The State and Federal Government have the prime responsibility for the provision of social and affordable housing. Their policies and plans can also be downloaded below.

Downloads and links

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Council and Wellbeing Plan 

Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030 - summary version(PDF, 2MB)
Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030 - full version(PDF, 7MB)
Social and Affordable Housing Policy
Rooming House Policy
Housing and Settlement Strategy 2020(PDF, 12MB)
Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme

Federal Government

Federal Government Smart Cities Plan
Federal Government Housing support

State Government

State Government Homes for Victorians
Big Housing Build

Housing related legislation

Housing comes in a variety of forms including single detached dwellings, units, apartments, aged care facilities, retirement villages, residential villages, caravan parks, rooming houses and supported residential services. As maybe expected there is a range of applicable legislation and from time to time it is under review. 

For details about current legislative and policy reviews direct reference should be made to the relevant State Government websites.

The Council was a strong contributor to the review of the Residential Tenancies Act. The review resulted in some major reforms to the Act. See the link below for more information.

Fairer Safer Housing - Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997

The following links are not exhaustive.


National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and regulations
Residential Tenancies (Caravan Parks and Movable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations 2010
Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012
Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008  
Retirement Villages Act 1986
Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010
Planning and Environment Act 1987 - controls the Victoria Planning Provisions and Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme
Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations
Rooming House Operators Act 2016

Housing Community Reference Group

Council has a Housing Community Reference Group (Housing CRG) to establish a direct community perspective in relation to matters of Housing and Homelessness on the Mornington Peninsula. Read more about the Housing CRG below and if you have any questions please contact the Shire's Community Partnerships Team on 5950 1000.

If you would like to apply to fill a current vacancy on the Housing CRG please fill out the form below. 

Click here to view form.


Housing CRG Objective

To represent and engage the community in responding to local housing and homelessness issues in a manner that can support the Council to implement and review its Triple A Housing Plan 2020 – 2030.

Housing CRG Tasks

  1. To advise Council including Shire officers and the Triple A Housing Committee about issues that are affecting people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness including priorities for action under the Triple A Housing Plan.

  2. To identify and promote opportunities for affordable housing developments, subject to any required Council approval.

  3. To promote community awareness of homelessness so that people without homes are treated with respect and have access to shelter, food and basic utilities in a context that prioritises health and safety, pathways into accommodation and community inclusion.


The Housing CRG comprises up to seven community members who may claim travel costs for their attendance. They represent people who:

  • are in need of affordable housing or are living in social housing;
  • face barriers in accessing private rental housing,
  • have lived experiences of homelessness on the Peninsula;
  • have experience or interest in the provision of affordable housing; or,
  • provide social support and programs for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Housing CRG is currently meeting on a monthly basis.

Triple A Housing Committee and the Peninsula Housing Network

The Triple A Housing Committee was formed to link the Council, community, other levels of government and relevant housing and welfare agencies.  It also supports the implementation of the Shire's  Triple A Housing Plan 2020 - 2030.

It is supported in this work by the Peninsula Housing Network which is a forum for front line workers from all agencies to network and coordinate their actions for effective local responses. 

Affordability and security of housing for older people is a critical issue on the Peninsula, and advocacy in this matter is also supported by the Positive Ageing Strategy and the Triple A Committee's collaborative work with the Peninsula Advisory Committee of Elders (PACE).