Lovell Lets Down Homeless With Do-Nothing Plan

The Baillieu Government’s plan to tackle homelessness fails women and young people and comes on top of a record lack of funding for housing in the State Budget, Shadow Housing Minister Richard Wynne said today.

“Housing Minister Wendy Lovell today released the Baillieu Government’s do-nothing homelessness action plan,” Mr Wynne said.

“After 300 days in office, Ms Lovell has the dubious distinction of providing not one dollar for building new housing, not one dollar for acquiring new stock and no new ideas.

“While a Ministerial Advisory Council and an inter-departmental committee may be well-meaning, there’s got to be more that can be done than politicians and bureaucrats sitting around talking.”

Mr Wynne said Ms Lovell’s strategy had failed:

  • To set out any plan for assisting people who are currently in housing crisis or receiving support from housing agencies;
  • Women and children escaping domestic violence and other people in vulnerable situations who may need crisis housing support;
  • To address crucial work force issues such as adequacy of pay, training and career opportunities; and
  • By remaining silent on what tailored support the Baillieu Government will provide to people with a disability, people suffering from mental illness and indigenous Victorians who are at risk of homelessness.

“Ms Lovell’s media release even sought to claim credit for the new housing that is being built as part of Federal Labor’s economic stimulus package,” he said.

Mr Wynne said the homelessness strategy was the latest in a long line of failures from one of Mr Baillieu’s poorest performers in cabinet, which included:

  • The lowest target for upgrading public housing in a decade;
  • The lowest target for assisting families at risk of homelessness through the Transitional Housing Management (THM) program in a decade;
  • No new growth funding for building or acquiring public and social housing;
  • No projected improvement in the number of families being turned away from crisis accommodation services; and
  • No projected improvement in the times faced by families on the Early Housing Waiting List.

“What Victoria needs is a forward investment plan to keep building and acquiring better housing to accommodate the families and individuals that need it,” he said.

“You can’t solve homelessness if you don’t have an adequate supply of safe, affordable and secure housing, which Ms Lovell and the Baillieu Government have failed to provide.”