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City of Stonnington

The Stonnington Zero project started in December 2021. It takes a place-based collective impact approach to reduce the numbers of people experiencing rough sleeping by connecting with and getting to know each person, and adding them to the local By Name List to enable a focused client-centred service response. Knowing everyone by name, understanding their needs and providing an integrated service response helps people find and sustain housing.

The project is funded by the City of Stonnington which, with Launch Housing, has brought together local partners such as Better Health Network, Alfred Health, Uniting Care, Housing First and the Avalon Centre. The project also has many enabling partners including the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, Victoria Police, and the Southern Homelessness Services Network.

The goal of Stonnington Zero is to achieve functional zero rough sleeping homelessness. Functional Zero rough sleeping homelessness will be reached when the number of people entering and experiencing rough sleeping homelessness within a month is less than the average six-monthly placement rate into long-term housing. Once achieved it must be sustained and any future experiences of rough sleeping homelessness in Stonnington will be brief, rare and non-reoccurring. This is because the housing and support resources required to end homelessness are efficiently coordinated and sufficient to meet the needs of all people who sleep and live in the municipality.

Stonnington Zero was the second Victorian project to achieve quality By Name List (BNL) status in July 2022. With a very small number of people actively sleeping rough, Stonnington is on track to become the first Australian community to achieve functional zero rough sleeping homelessness.

People experience homelessness when they do not have accommodation that is safe, secure and appropriate. Homelessness can occur due to a variety of complex issues including loss of employment, family breakdown, mental health and family violence.

Housing secured and homelessness ended

Homelessness is ended when people move into safe, sustainable, long-term housing of their choice. This includes public or community housing, private rental or private ownership that meets an acceptable minimum standard of a self-contained dwelling with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities. The person must have security of tenure evidenced by a signed tenancy agreement. Long-term housing includes aged care and may include long-term special residential services.

How are we going?

The latest data from each By Name List (BNL) illustrates the scale of rough sleeping homelessness in the City of Stonnington. It also shows how people’s circumstances change over time as they become connected to the network of services that make up each project. The data shows clearly the change in living situations that happens over time and the movement into different living situations as people travel on a pathway out of homelessness. Finally, we show the outcomes that Stonnington Zero has achieved since it started.

Sleeping rough and actively homeless

People are added onto the BNL when we meet them and they are sleeping rough. This means that they are in an unsheltered living situation, in a car or staying in an abandoned building that we call a ‘squat’. When they are added they become active on the BNL. This chart shows the active number of people since the project started and how people who are connected to the project gradually move out of sleeping rough.

Actively homeless and changes in living situations

People don’t usually stay sleeping rough but move between different living situations as their circumstances change. Figure 2 shows this change over time as people move into safer forms of sheltered emergency accommodation such as hotels, motels or specialist crisis accommodations, or into high quality temporary forms of housing such as Transitional (THM) or Head Lease housing as a pathway out of homelessness. These are not the final housing outcomes and for that reason people remain ‘active’ even though their living situations have improved significantly. They are known as transitional forms of housing and people may live in them for several years before a final offer of social housing is made.

We would ideally only want people leaving the BNL because they've moved into a long-term, safe, and affordable home.

A key reason people stay on the List, and don't move into safe and secure homes, is that there simply aren't enough homes in Victoria that people on low incomes can afford. If 10 homes are available and 50 people need homes, 40 people are going to remain without a home, no matter how hard everyone tries to house them.


The Stonnington Zero project is being delivered in partnership with:

  • The Alfred Hospital
  • Better Health Network
  • Avalon Centre
  • City of Stonnington
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • Launch Housing
  • Southern Homelessness Services Network
  • Southport Community Housing
  • Uniting Victoria and Tasmania
  • Victoria Police
  • Housing First

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Add your voice today

From business leaders to your next-door neighbours, we're calling on every Melburnian to join the Melbourne Zero movement and help end homelessness in our city.