Social service and industry groups are welcoming the Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion dollar funding commitment towards social housing, calling it a “win, win.” The investment is being hailed as significant step in addressing housing and homelessness issues in the state, while also creating desperately needed jobs
When Victoria was hit by a second wave of the coronavirus in July, the state’s ailing public housing system was thrust into the spotlight.
An outbreak across nine towers saw thousands of residents forced into a hard lockdown and unable to leave their apartments.
The Victorian Government is pledging $5.3 billion dollars to address the issue.
The package is expected to deliver 12,000 new homes throughout Melbourne and regional areas, with the first 6,000 dwellings expected to completed within 18 months.
Sam Hibbins, the Victoria Greens spokesperson for housing has welcomes the announcement, calling it a “really good first step,” but he says there is more to do.
The project is expected to create up to 10,000 jobs a year over the next four years.
Fiona Nield, the Victorian Executive Director of the Housing Industry Association says this will provide a much needed stimulus in the state’s housing sector, which has taken a hit because of the months-long lockdown.
The program is also being welcomed by PowerHousing Australia, which represents 35 of Australia's largest community housing providers. CEO Nicholas Proud says, ironically, it will actually safeguard many tradies from potentially needing social and affordable housing support themselves.
But he stressed the social housing crisis is not isolated to Victoria, saying before the pandemic hit, there were a staggering 200,000 people on the social housing waiting list Australia-wide.