Victoria is set to retain its unenviable record of having the lowest percentage of social housing in Australia, with the budget lacking the type of investment needed to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for those on low incomes.
Chief Executive Officer of Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) Lesley Dredge says whilst the Victorian Government is to be commended on implementing the Homes for Victorians strategy, and putting in place the architecture needed for growth in social housing, Victoria’s level of social housing will continue to go backwards.
The latest statistics show there are currently 36,742 households on the Victorian Housing Register, awaiting social housing, including 17,848 on the priority list.
‘Those figures represents only some of the Victorian households experiencing extreme housing stress – impacting on all aspects of their lives and the communities in which they live, Ms Dredge says.
‘We must address the urgent backlog of social and affordable housing in Victoria. With Melbourne growing by 125,000 people last year and housing stress increasing in our regional centres, doing nothing is just not an option,’ Ms Dredge says.
‘We need 1800 properties just to stand still and remain the worst in the country – whilst the Budget target is a drop of 45 social housing dwellings.’
Ms Dredge says there were positives to come out of the Budget, including
– rebuilding the TAFE system and aligning the training system with industry
– big investments in mental health and addiction
– further investment in health and education
– continuation of the large focus on infrastructure.
‘But without an affordable, well-located home it is hard for those on low incomes to make use of these initiatives.’