The Victorian Budget has delivered $134 million to provide access to housing and homelessness support.
But more is desperately needed to respond to the increasing number of people seeking support.
The Victorian budget includes $67.6 million for Housing First responses and supports, which will deliver much needed permanent supportive housing responses to people formerly sleeping rough.
The budget also continues a range of targeted housing and support that meet critical demand.
This includes a range of services for women and young people experiencing homelessness as well as much needed additional health and drug and alcohol supports to people in crisis accommodation.
Victoria is in the grips of a devastating housing crisis which is pushing more people into homelessness and housing stress.
Victoria’s homelessness services are under significant pressure and are still placing over 4,000 individuals and families in hotels and crisis accommodation each month so they aren’t sleeping in their cars, on the street or in unsafe situations. These individuals and families need a safe and secure place to call home.
Yet no new capital investment was delivered through this budget with the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build still progressing.
With the Victorian Budget papers confirming wait times for public housing are set to blow out further – an average 16.5 months for those on the priority wait list – significant and continued social housing growth is essential.
Homelessness services will receive $35.9 million in 23/24 and $134 million over the next four years.
Council to Homeless Persons CEO Deborah Di Natale said:
“We are pleased to see this budget delivers some desperately needed support for rough sleepers through investment in Housing First responses.
“Programs like the incredibly successful from Homelessness to a Home program have actually saved the government money in other areas of the budget including health, justice and prisons.
“We also welcome funding being maintained for crucial existing support services delivering homelessness and housing assistance to women and young people without a home.
“Still the State Government should commit to building at least 6000 social housing properties each year for a decade.
“The Big Housing Build is proof this government acknowledges the massive need for more social housing. But with 57,000 households on the waiting list, that initiative simply cannot be a one off.
“As a state we’re investing in over 55,000 nights of short-term accommodation each month. This is nowhere near enough to meet demand and does nothing to end someone’s homelessness. That’s where the combination of housing and support through H2H was remarkable.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the State Government to ensure future budgets include more decisions which will put us on a path to ending homelessness.”
The 2023/24 Victorian Budget at a glance
$67.6 million for Housing First responses and supports
Continuing targeted responses and services to women and young people
Continuing housing pathways for people exiting prison supporting them into stable housing
Wait lists have blown out
No capital commitment beyond the Big Housing Build
Homelessness to a home is not enough to relieve pressure on frontline services