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New Albanese government must urgently fund social housing as Victoria’s rental crisis worsens


Victoria’s rental crisis is deepening, with regional rents hitting a record median rate of $390 a week, as Council to Homeless Persons urges the new Federal Government to immediately act on its social housing commitments.

Victoria’s March quarter 2022 Rental Report shows over the past quarter median rent rose by $10 in both metropolitan Melbourne (to $410 per week) and in regional Victoria (to $390 per week).

This represents quarterly growth of 2.6% in Melbourne and 3% in regional Victoria. Year on year, rents are up 4% in Melbourne and 10.1% in the regions.

“This new rental data shows that the rental crisis in regional Victoria is deepening,” said Jenny Smith, CEO of Council to Homeless Persons.

“More people are being pushed beyond breaking point and into homelessness.
“Even before these most recent increases, more than a third of renters in regional Victoria feel the pinch every week when they pay rent.

“People will make every other household budget cut before they miss rent – that means skipping meals, shivering through winter with the heating off, or forgoing study and social opportunities. People will stay on in unsafe homes rather than leaving, if they can’t see a way to afford rent for their families on their own.”

The peak body for homelessness services in Victoria is urging the newly installed Albanese Government to urgently kick start delivery of its election promise of building 20,000 new social houses amid the worsening crisis.

“We know that the root cause of rental stress and housing unaffordability is the current undersupply of social housing. The market can’t fix that, so we need government to step in and provide more homes.

“Victoria needs 6,000 new homes a year for the next decade to address the shortage. The new Albanese Government has a commitment of 20,000 new social homes and 10,000 affordable homes over the next five years – they need to urgently begin this work and then lift the number of homes they commit to building.”

CHP is also urging the Victorian Government to extend the Big Housing Build.

“The Victorian Government have begun building more social housing with the Big Housing Build, but the deepening rental crisis shows the Big Housing Build needs to be continued beyond 2024.”

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