Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Extension of Hoarding Advocacy Support Service funded

December 18, 2019

he ACT Government has announced it will provide Woden Community Service $300,000 to fund an 18-month extension of the Hoarding Advocacy Support Service (HASS) trial across the ACT.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the funding recognised the need to provide holistic support for complex cases of hoarding, and the positive improvements to the properties that were part of the initial HASS trial held earlier this year (March to June 2019).

“Hoarding is a challenge, which has many potential causes and no simple solution,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Already, ACT Government agencies work closely together through the Hoarding Case Management Group to coordinate their responses to this difficult social issue.

“Although there is only a small number of cases of severe hoarding and squalor across the ACT at any given time, it is an issue that has a big impact on the community.

“The HASS trial carried out earlier in the year, used a case management approach to engage with individuals and help to connect them with the support services they need.

“This funding will provide a more comprehensive evidence base of the impact community-based support services and case management can have in managing the personal and community impacts of hoarding behaviour, given the complexity involved in managing the most severe cases.”

Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said it was important to recognise that people who hoard items to the point where their homes can become a health and safety risk may be suffering from a range of issues, including poor mental health.