A recent report by the Productivity Commission found that Victoria spends less than any other state in Australia on public and community housing – equating to $82.94 per person, compared with $173.35 in NSW, and the national average of $166.93.


Victoria’s per person spend on public and community housing has also fallen each year since 2014-15, down from $95.92 per person, the report showed.


Other startling facts from the report included that:


  • Social housing units have declined in Victoria by 200 since 2014, putting homelessness services under increased strain, and resulting in one-in-three people in Victoria being turned away from support agencies
  • The federal government spends $2 billion a year on the social housing system – only half the amount the states collectively contribute ($4 billion combined)

In Victoria, our wait list for public housing now consists of more than 82,000 individuals – including almost 25,000 children – and is increasing by a staggering 500 applicants a month.


We were encouraged by the Andrews’ Government’s recent election promise to build 1,000 new public housing units over the next three years, the equivalent of 330 per year. This commitment will save lives and give a stable, secure home to thousands of Victorians who need it most.


However, a far bigger build is needed.


Premier Daniel Andrews said himself in October 2018 that “if budget circumstances allow for us to do more then of course we would.”


With the best economy in the nation and a mandate from the public to continue being bold on infrastructure, we urge the Victorian Government to commit to a larger pipeline of public housing construction projects to address the growing housing crisis.


Doing so would save more lives and help the most disadvantaged in our community, whilst also boosting job numbers, local manufacturing opportunities and the broader economy.


Click here for an overview from The Guardian on the Productivity Commission report.