Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell announced today that funding in the 2012-2013 State Budget will enable the Government to assist around 77,000 households with long-term social housing, including public, Indigenous and community tenancies.
Ms Lovell said in addition, 10,000 households would be assisted with short-term crisis and transitional accommodation while 36,000 households would have access to assistance to help them gain or maintain private rental accommodation.
"This Budget funding builds on recent initiatives by the Victorian Coalition Government, in particular those giving assistance for younger people to access affordable accommodation and training or work opportunities, to tackle the root causes of homelessness," Ms Lovell said.
Areas of expenditure announced in the 2012-2013 Budget include:
- A $10.4 million investment over four years to build and operate the first of three new Youth Foyers to provide structured assistance and accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness;
- Funding for 1,150 new social housing homes to be acquired and 1,600 public housing dwellings to be provided with much-needed upgrades in the coming financial year; and
- More than $200 million allocated for 2012-13 programs to prevent homelessness and support those at risk of homelessness
"These budget initiatives are announced against the backdrop of the recent Auditor-General's report into public housing which found that the long-term provision of public housing in Victoria was 'at risk' under the operating model and asset management approach which we have inherited ," Ms Lovell said.
"The Auditor-General's report was a scathing assessment of the former government's public housing policies and confirmed a decade of negligent management of public housing in Victoria.
"The Auditor's key findings concerned public housing's financially unsustainable operating model, the significant maintenance backlog, poor asset management and an absence of clear objectives and strategic direction.
"Put simply, the Coalition Government has inherited a crisis in public housing and this requires reform if we are to secure the future of public housing for vulnerable Victorians.
"Last year the incoming Coalition Government announced that it would develop a Housing Framework to put public housing on a sustainable footing so that we can secure its future. Two discussion papers for consultation as part of this framework were released yesterday," Ms Lovell said.
The two discussion papers – Pathways to a Fair and Sustainable Social Housing System and Social Housing – Options to Improve the Supply of Quality Housing, which was prepared by KPMG – will guide a fresh approach to a system that is in crisis after more than a decade of Labor mismanagement.
"We need to put right the mess we have inherited from the Labor Party and secure the future of public housing in Victoria.
"That is why we have embarked on a reform process, starting yesterday with a three month consultation process, to enable the development of the new Housing Framework," Ms Lovell said.