An additional 685 families have been added to the Victorian Public Housing Waiting List in the past three months to December 2012, bringing the total to over 37,000, Shadow Housing Minister Richard Wynne said today.

 Mr Wynne said the Baillieu Government’s failure to invest in the construction of public housing has led to this blow out with more families waiting longer for housing.

 “Housing Minister Wendy Lovell has shifted the deckchairs for two years, but without investing in public housing, waiting lists were always going to grow,” Mr Wynne said.

 “Today’s figures are as clear as day: in almost every region across the state there are more people languishing on Ms Lovell’s waiting list for housing.

 “Labor has been warning the Baillieu Government for over two years that once the massive Federal Government investment in public and social housing came to an end, the list would start to balloon.

 “The $1 billion investment, part of the Federal Labor Government’s stimulus package, boosted Victoria’s social housing stock by a further 6500 units.

 “This investment finished halfway through last year.

 “In contrast, the only thing the Housing Minister has achieved in the portfolio is approving a carve up of existing public housing, where half of the existing land will be sold to the private sector – a move that will only place more pressure on an already strained public system.”

 Mr Wynne said Ms Lovell’s failure to support public housing was stacking up against her. She had:

  • Provided no new funding for building new housing since coming to office in 2010;
  • Failed to rule out selling off public housing;
  • Threatened to increase rents and install fixed term tenure; and
  • Cut frontline staff that supports the most vulnerable people in our community.

 “Once again, Ms Lovell has chosen to release the data right before a major holiday, this time just before Australia Day, to limit the criticism she will cop for the blow out,” Mr Wynne said.

“Instead of hiding figures and blaming everyone else, Ms Lovell needs to spend the next few months lobbying Treasurer Kim Wells and Premier Ted Baillieu to put housing back on the State’s budget agenda.”

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