New data  released by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services shows that the number of people waiting for appropriate housing in the State has jumped once again.


The total number of applications for both people needing a house and people who require a transfer at the end of the June quarter was 50,145. This compares to 48,925 at the end of the March 2019 quarter, an increase of 1,220 applications overall.


This is the equivalent of around 13 applications for housing or a transfer every single day.


Most of this growth comes from new applications, with a smaller number being existing tenants who are seeking a transfer.



New applications

Transfer applications


March 2019 quarter




June 2019 quarter






Of the 42,838 applications for housing, 22,723 (53 per cent) are considered to be ‘Priority Access’.  Of the 7,307 transfer application 3,763 (51 per cent) are considered to be ‘Priority Access’.


This means that more than half of Victorians on the waitlist urgently need housing, or to move, for safety reasons (such as to escape family violence), health reasons or because they are experiencing homelessness.


The new data comes as a result of the Department’s ongoing project to merge the former public housing waiting list and disparate community housing waiting lists in to a central database – the Victorian Housing Register.


As the Register nears closer to completion, the urgent need for an increase in housing stock becomes clearer and clearer. 


Executive Officer of the Victorian Public Tenants Association, Mark Feenane, said that “the need for urgent Government investment in public housing cannot be overstated.”


He continued, “it is unacceptable that 50,145 Victorians are awaiting housing assistance that they desperately need. Of those, 26,486 people have an urgent need to be housed or to move to a location that is more suitable for their situation.”


“We recognise that the Government has committed to construct an additional 1,000 public housing dwellings, but when the waitlist is growing by 1,161 new applications (or 1,220 applications total) a quarter – much more is needed.”