Social housing is a critical investment in Victoria’s economic security and prosperity, and should be a centrepiece of the forthcoming state budget, to provide a lasting fix to the worst housing crisis in living memory.
Community Housing Industry Association Victoria said building more social and affordable housing is crucial as thousands of approved housing projects are shelved or on hold, and the state’s Big Housing Build is nearing its end.
The state’s peak industry body for community housing wants the budget to:
Secure a long-term funding pipeline for social housing growth - Invest in a $6 billion Social Housing Investment Fund that would deliver 20,000 homes over the next decade.
End chronic homelessness by investing in Housing First - Extend and expand life-changing programs such as From Homelessness to a Home (H2H).
Reduce the costs of homelessness by investing in preventative supports - Review and expand support programs such as Tenancy Plus.
CHIA Vic acting chief executive Jason Perdriau said investing in social housing is an investment in the economic prosperity of the state.
“Building social housing is an investment in the essential social infrastructure our state needs to prosper. It’s an investment we can’t defer,” Mr Perdriau said.
“At a time when the government and all Victorians are dealing with tough economic challenges, it’s never been more important to invest in safe and affordable homes that give people the stability and opportunity they need to participate in society and the economy.
“More Victorians than ever are on the brink of homelessness and the wider costs of housing stress are felt in our hospitals, workplaces, judicial system and community services.
“If the government is relying on strong population growth to drive economic growth we need more affordable homes.
“The government has made significant progress turning around Victoria’s shocking social housing shortfall through the Big Housing Build but we can’t let it stop there. We urge the government to prioritise housing this budget.”
Jason Perdriau is available for comment before and after the budget. Read more about CHIA Vic’s budget wishlist here.
Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301