Public housing supply has dramatically decreased

House boarded up

The ratio of public housing properties to population in Victoria has declined by 10% in just four years.

Recent Government figures show an alarming decline in the availability of public housing in Victoria.

In 2009/10 there were 63,732 assumed public housing properties in Victoria.

By the close of 2013/14 that number had reduced to 62,807.

In fact our colleagues at the Community Housing Federation of Victoria have estimated that at least 2,000 properties have been sold off in the four years to June 2014.

Yet the demand for public housing has not decreased over that period.

Recently the VPTA highlighted the increase in the public housing waiting list to 34,464.

Part of this demand is driven by population growth. In 2009 there was one public housing property for every 85.3 Victorians.

By 2014 that supply had reduced to one public housing property for every 93.7 Victorians.

So there are more of us, but less public housing to go around.

The challenge will be to find new and innovative ways to increase the supply of public housing.

That is why the VPTA has called for an audit of vacant public housing land. The audit would allow the broader community, including the private sector, to be in a position to identify opportunities for development.

Also, in light of the high levels of sales by the Director of Housing, we are calling for public housing vacant land sales to be subject to the same levels of scrutiny and disclosure as other government land sales, such as former school sites.