Council to Homeless Persons welcomes a bipartisan parliamentary committee’s call for Victoria to construct 60,000 public and community homes over the next decade.
The peak body says 6,000 homes each year are needed just to keep up with current demand and urges the Victorian Government to act now.
CHP CEO Deborah Di Natale says:
“Victoria is in the grip of a once-in-a-generation housing and homelessness crisis and does not have time to waste. We have to build our way out with 6,000 new public and community homes each year while reforming the broken private rental market.
“Council to Homeless Persons welcomes the adoption of our social housing target, as well as other key reforms, by the inquiry into Victoria’s rental and housing affordability crisis.
“Victoria’s private rental market has failed and the cost is being borne by people struggling to pay rent who are on the brink of or experiencing homelessness. These proposed reforms are a positive step in the right direction to ensure everyone has a safe place to call home.”
Among the 34 recommendations released by the upper house committee on Tuesday is the removal of the First Home Owners Grant and redirecting the funding into the Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) that helps people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to establish and maintain tenancies.
The inquiry also recommends enshrining the right to housing in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, and establishing an independent rental inspector within Consumer Affairs Victoria to ensure rental properties meet legislated minimum standards.
“Vulnerable Victorians are forced to choose between accepting unsafe and mould-ridden private rentals, and sleeping in a vehicle, someone’s couch or on the street. Establishing a rental inspector would be a positive step to cracking down on exploitative landlords and ensuring rentals meet minimum standards,” Ms Di Natale said.
“The PRAP is vital to getting people out of the cycle of homelessness and into long-term housing as well as helping people in financial distress to maintain their tenancies. Getting more people into stable and secure private rentals, and helping them stay there, is key to ending the homelessness crisis.”