We’ve been busy combing through the Budget papers to see what additional funding has been committed to homelessness and housing initiatives. We’ve created this matrix which compares what CHP asked for in its Pre-Budget Submission with what was actually handed down in the Budget today.
The following important initiatives were announced today:
- significant investment in skills and training to increase access to vocational pathways. This includes the creation of 30 priority TAFE programs that will now be free, such as the Diploma of Community Services
- a $705 million package of investment in mental health and drug and alcohol services
- significant investment in family support to intervene earlier with vulnerable families, including $47.3 million for the Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement
- 20 one-bedroom modular units with intensive onsite support ($2.2 million units; $2.6 million support over 2 years)
- multidisciplinary housing teams to support complex clients through assertive outreach ($19 million for outreach teams over 4 years (announced in earlier $109m package); and $9 million for ongoing support teams over 2 years
- three accommodation projects ($8.2 million over 4 years); and
- continuation of family violence head-leasing of properties.
Other commitments relevant to CHP’s State Budget asks included:
- $1.3 million for additional family violence crisis properties in the Wimmera South Mallee
- $0.3 million to develop a Housing First model suitable for the Central Highlands
- $43.8 million to expand the Navigator Program that provides support to re-engage young people at risk of disengaging from school
There were no additional commitments to new social housing.
The previous significant social housing commitments made in previous budgets are still being rolled out. However, even with these projects in the pipeline, Victoria’s social housing stock is on the decline when measured as a proportion of all housing, because Victoria’s population has been growing rapidly.
This decline in social housing is shown most clearly in the graph below.
Responses from the social services sector have been broad. Below is a selection of media releases from organisations that work with vulnerable Victorians:
- CHP State Budget falls short in boosting low-cost housing
- The Salvation Army Salvos welcome Vic Budget but still looking for more homes
- VCOSS Giant strides towards a better Victoria
- Melbourne City Mission Melbourne City Mission applauds focus on education and skills
CHP will continue to work with the sector and all levels of Government to advocate for the housing and support needed to end homelessness, including to call for further investments prior to the election, and for commitments to new programs in party platforms.