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Housing Statement fails on social housing commitments


The Victorian Government’s Housing Statement has failed to commit to building desperately needed social housing that will address the state’s crisis, according to Council to Homeless Persons.

CHP has welcomed measures to make renting fairer and overdue improvements to 44 existing high-rise public housing buildings.

Council to Homeless Persons chief executive officer Deborah Di Natale said the package fell short on social housing commitments.

“The State Government appears to have missed a critical opportunity to consider the needs of people without homes,” Ms Di Natale said.

“Behind the big headline numbers, there’s  little by way of increased social housing.

“We’ve got tens of thousands of people without a home tonight, sleeping in their cars, couch surfing, living in an unsafe rooming house, or considering returning to a violent relationship. We need to get on with providing them the public and community homes they need.

“We need at least 60,000 new public and community homes to be built in Victoria over a decade. Unfortunately there’s nothing like that in these announcements. 

“The grim reality is without a major increase in social housing, which accounts for just 2.9 per cent of all dwellings across the state, we’re not going to stop rising homelessness.

“The human and economic consequences of not addressing the crisis we face are immense.

“We have tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness each night and on social housing waiting lists.

“The government should outline exactly how many extra public and community dwellings will be built because of this announcement.

“Anything we can do to drag Victoria off the bottom of the national social housing rankings is incredibly welcome, but today’s announcement would actually push us further behind that goal.

“This high-rise public housing is at the end of its usable life, so those refurbishments are welcome.

“Banning rental bidding, allowing transferable bonds and cracking down on landlords putting rents up for a year after a tenant has been evicted will make things fairer.

“A modest charge on short-stay accommodation is a sensible way to fund desperately needed public and community housing but the amount of revenue that will raise pales in comparison to what’s needed.”

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