Budget papers reveal expected waiting time blow out and cuts to a key homelessness program

With more than 100,000 Victorians currently waiting for access to social housing, including elderly people, families with young children, and Victim Survivors of Family Violence, today’s Victorian Budget has failed to deliver a much-needed injection of public housing stock.


Despite this, the Government’s own Budget Papers show that they expect the average waiting time for access to housing to increase.


The Budget Papers reveal that the actual average wait time for people with priority applications for housing is expected to increase by around 6 weeks, and for people experiencing family violence, by around 5 months to 16.1 months.


2020-21 actual

2021-22 expected


Average waiting time for public rental housing for those clients who have received priority access housing allocation or a priority transfer

12.4 months

13.9 months

1.5 months

Average waiting time for public rental housing for clients who have received a priority access housing or priority transfer allocation due to family violence

11.1 months

16.1 months

5 months

Victorian Budget, Budget Paper 3, page 216


These figures are significantly above the Government’s target of an average wait time of 10.5 months.


The VPTA’s own experience is that these averages are skewed low. A recent survey of 310 public housing renters found that more than 30% of the respondents waited three years or more to access a home.


The Budget has also failed to provide additional funding for the From Homelessness to a Home program. The program provides long term housing and wrap around support services for people who were experiencing homelessness and were placed in hotels at the height of the pandemic.


This is a damning oversight.


Cuts to this program raise serious questions about how these tenancies will be sustained into the future.


Worse still, some of the program participants are living in properties that have been leased, and these leases will soon begin to expire.


We urge the Government to immediately guarantee additional funding to ensure that leases can be extended, and important supports are maintained at a minimum.