Baillieu’s Public Housing Rent Hike Hurts Seniors

The Baillieu Government has hit some of the poorest members of the community by pocketing more of their pension at a time when the cost of living is rising.

Shadow Housing Minister Richard Wynne said the Baillieu Government had hiked the rent for many public housing tenants, eroding the increases to the pension provided by the Federal Labor Government.

“The Baillieu Government has put its hand in the pocket of nearly 40,000 Victorian pensioners living in public housing,” Mr Wynne said.

“This rent increase will result in pensioners in Victoria’s public housing being up to $10 worse off a week.

“Having increased the rent for public housing, the Baillieu Government has shown it’s prepared to hit the poorest members of our community.”

Member for Ballarat West Sharon Knight said Mr Baillieu had turned his back on older residents in Ballarat.

“Senior Victorians, especially those who rely on public housing for accommodation, are doing it tough as they battle the rising cost of electricity, food and transport,” Ms Knight said.

“The Federal Government’s pension reforms were designed to help older people keep pace with the rising cost of living.

“That is why the states agreed in good faith to play their part and keep rents down.

“Mr Baillieu’s claim he would cut the cost of living is just nonsense when many older residents in Ballarat will have to hand over more of their pension to pay the rent.”

Mr Wynne said the rent increase was the latest in a long line of failures by the Baillieu Government to support public housing tenants in Victoria. Others include:

  • The blowout of the public housing waiting list by more 560 to 38,806;
  • The release of a homelessness ‘plan’ that failed to set out any plans for assisting young people experiencing homelessness, women and children escaping domestic violence, or people currently living in crisis accommodation;
  • The failure to provide any new funding for building or acquiring public and social housing in the 2011 State Budget; and
  • Providing the lowest targets for upgrading public housing and assisting families at risk of homelessness.

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