Premier Napthine’s first Budget has again failed to invest in public housing, despite nearly 37,000 people waiting for housing in Victoria, Shadow Housing Minister Richard Wynne said.

Mr Wynne said this year’s State Budget marked the third year that Housing Minister Wendy Lovell had failed to win a significant investment in housing.

“Mr Napthine has put funding his election-year war chest ahead of investing in helping people who are at risk of homelessness,” Mr Wynne said.

“This is third time in as many years to those Victorians in need of housing or who are at risk of homelessness have been ignored. You can’t trust Mr Napthine and the Liberals to invest in housing.

“The budget papers show that the Liberal Government has set the lowest target for new social housing units, with only a paltry 710 funded this year – down from 3800 in 2010.

“Despite the budget’s own forecast for additional demand for housing, the Napthine Government has no new capital funding for the acquisition of new social housing properties, no new initiatives to support families experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness, and no new funding for Neighbourhood Renewal or large-scale public housing redevelopments.

“In contrast, this year’s State Budget funds the smallest program of new social housing acquisition or construction in decades.”

Mr Wynne said the Napthine Government’s failure to invest in the construction of public housing was having an affect on the state’s most vulnerable individuals.

“Under Denis Napthine and Wendy Lovell, it is now much harder to access public and social housing – and this budget shows it will only get harder,” Mr Wynne said

“If Ms Lovell had focussed on improving public housing in Victoria, rather than trying to ban elected officials from visiting public housing tenants, more people wouldn’t be languishing on waiting lists.”

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 limit the time people can stay in public housing; and
· Cut frontline staff that supports the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Ms Lovell has wasted the entire term of this Government – she is fast winning a reputation as the most ineffective minister in this Government, which is a strong field to be leading,” he said.

“Because Ms Lovell has again ignored housing in this year’s budget, it means that for each year of the Liberal Government, housing has been overlooked and tenants have been left behind.”


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