The Victorian Public Tenants Association has today welcomed the landmark announcement from the Victorian Government to significantly improve the quality of more than 15,000 public housing properties, and construct 110 new properties.
This is biggest social housing announcement since the Global Financial Crisis, and is sorely needed – for people who live in public housing, for people who are waiting to be housed and for Victoria’s tradies who are eager to get back to work.
Addressing the serious maintenance issues in Victoria’s public housing is an important first step towards ensuring everyone can live safely and with dignity in this State.
We are particularly pleased to see the strong focus of these funds being on public housing. Researchers have found public housing to be the most significant protecting factor against homelessness.
This is because public housing is cheaper to live in than community housing and can provide greater security of tenure. Further, public housing is the social housing tenure that best suits those who are most vulnerable and have the lowest incomes. Community housing organisations are heavily dependent on the rents they collect from tenants and are generally unable to afford to house too many people who receive the lowest value income support payments from Centrelink.
To properly address the deep housing need in Victorian communities, today’s announcement must be followed by a construction blitz.
Victoria needs 6,000 new social housing properties every year for the next 10 years to bring our social housing stock up to the national average.
We believe the majority of these properties must be public housing, so that as many people as possible are able to benefit from their construction.
Executive Officer of the VPTA, Mark Feenane said:
“This much needed funding will restore dignity and safety to the lives of many people who live in public housing and who have been waiting a long time to see very serious maintenance issues addressed.
“It will also extend the useful life of many existing public housing properties – ensuring more Victorian’s are able to live in safety and security.
“Now is not the time for complacency, this is a great start – but it’s not game over.
“We can’t forget the tens of thousands of families on the waiting list, the Government must build new public housing to ensure they have a place to call home.”
Much of the detail of this program is still unknown, but as we receive more information we will provide updates through this website, our social media channels and the monthly bulletin.