The Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) today acknowledged the number of Victorians sleeping rough in Melbourne’s CBD had decreased slightly, but called for more investment in public housing to wipe out homelessness altogether.


Mark Feenane, Executive Officer of the VPTA, said he was horrified that 42 per cent of people surveyed were on the public housing waiting list.


“Right now, there are around 82,000 Victorians waiting for a place to call home and we have the lowest proportion of public housing in all of Australia.”


“This is a disgrace – we desperately need more homes, because if we don’t have an affordable rental market and enough public housing, people will inevitably be pushed into homelessness.”


Mr Feenane said that the 392 Victorians sleeping rough across five Melbourne municipalities was just the tip of the iceberg.


“Funding announced earlier this year has gone some way to helping people sleeping rough on our streets, but the State Government also needs to commit to building more long-term public housing if they’re really serious about breaking the cycle of homelessness.”


Mr Feenane also emphasised that the percentage of rough sleepers on the public housing waiting list was likely higher than reported, given the figure only accounted for people who were awake to do the survey.


With a growing number of Victorians needing affordable and secure housing, the VPTA calls on all political parties to reveal their long-term plans to tackle the housing crisis.


Mr Feenane also called on the Federal Government to stop sticking their head in the sand when it comes to housing policy.


“Nationally, homelessness and housing funding has dropped to its lowest level in a decade.”


“Our waiting list numbers are a national shame – in such a prosperous country, every Australian should have a warm bed to sleep in and a place to call home.”