Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) has released a new report revealing the top Victorian electorates where reported homelessness has alarmingly increased over five years.
The analysis, which compares the 2016 and 2021 census data, paints a picture of a shocking homelessness crisis across the state.
Homelessness in the Geelong and Surf Coast electorate of South Barwon rose a staggering 465% over five years, in part driven by more accurate rooming house data.
Homelessness doubled across Melton (134% increase), Eureka (113%), Pakenham (113%), Cranbourne (111%), Bendigo East (107%) and Oakleigh (101%).
Mildura (96%), Box Hill (88%) and Morwell (85%) rounded out the top 10 electorates where homelessness rose most sharply.
“This report underscores the urgent need for targeted, substantial investment in social housing and homelessness supports across Victoria,” said CHP CEO Deborah Di Natale.
“We are witnessing a clear and alarming escalation in homelessness in Victoria, highlighting a picture of stark inequality across both metropolitan and regional areas.”
CHP is calling on the Victorian Government to address the crisis by committing to build at least 60,000 social housing properties over the next decade.
“This investment is not just necessary, it’s critical to stemming the tide of homelessness,” Ms Di Natale said.
CHP is also urging the State Government to directly target investment into homelessness supports, including Housing First programs, which provide housing alongside wraparound support.
“We can’t stand by and watch as this crisis continues to unfold. It’s time to act decisively and make a commitment that will lead to real, lasting change.
“We’re hopeful the Victorian Government wants to address homelessness head-on.”