The lack of growth in public housing stock has contributed to the waiting list increasing once again in the September quarter.
Unfortunately, most of the increase was in the ‘early housing’ component, made up of people who in high need due to circumstances such as homelessness or disability.
The waiting list now stands at 34,726. The early housing waiting list is 9,952 and 7,627 public housing households are waiting for a transfer.
Of course, the waiting list reflects that there are 34,726 applicants. Many of the applicants have children and other family members who are dependent upon them.
We can estimate, therefore, that there are over 60,000 Victorians currently requiring public housing. On top of that, we suspect that thousands of Victorians have decided not to make an application, because their chances of being allocated public housing within a reasonable time period are so low.
There are currently around 63,000 public housing dwellings in Victoria. The level of public housing supply has remained stubbornly static since 1997.
What we need now is a real commitment at the Commonwealth and the state level to invest in this vital form of infrastructure.
If that investment is not made, the waiting list will continue to grow and we will have failed to respond to one of the central challenges of a growing population.