Vulnerable Victorians will be waiting longer for housing because it just isn’t a priority for Mr Baillieu

The Baillieu Government’s failure to properly invest in Victoria’s public and social housing will result in vulnerable families waiting longer for the most basic human need – shelter.

Shadow Housing Minister Richard Wynne said the government had cut funding in several areas of the housing portfolio despite growing demand across the State.

“Mr Baillieu’s second budget is a horror budget for families and individuals waiting for housing in Victoria,” Mr Wynne said.

“Mr Baillieu has cut spending on housing, at a time when it should be increasing funding: Social Housing investment has dropped 2.2 per cent from $181.3 million in 2011-12 to $177.3 million in 2012-13, and Housing Support and Homelessness Assistance has fallen 1.5 per cent from $226.1 million in 2011-12 to $222.8 million in 2012-13.

“The budget papers also show that next financial year there will be no new funding to build any new public housing – another year of inaction for the Baillieu Government.

“In June, the Federal Government’s massive injection into social housing stock will be complete, meaning there will be no new money to build public or social housing in Victoria going forward.”

Mr Wynne said Mr Baillieu had also lowered targets for the number of housing property upgrades to 1600 ­– the lowest in more than a decade, and waiting times for the most needy have blown out to more than 10 months.

“The results of this budget will become clear in coming years: more people waiting longer for housing.”

In addition, the Opening Doors program, to improve housing services for the homelessness, has had its funding slashed. This program had previously been funded at over $7 million each year, now it will only be funded at $1.7 million a year.

Mr Wynne said Housing Minister Wendy Lovell’s record of poor support for public housing was stacking up against her. She had:

  • Failed to rule out selling off public housing;
  • Released 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; and
  • Proved no new funding for building new housing since coming to office in 2010.

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