The Victorian Greens have welcomed a parliamentary report into homelessness and say it highlights a broken system that has neglected the most marginalised in our community.
Among its key recommendations the report has called on the state government to provide more housing.
While the report is an important acknowledgement of how Victoria has failed those at risk of or experiencing homelessness, it will be a missed opportunity to end homelessness once and for all if the government doesn’t act now and acknowledge that it has a moral and legal responsibility to provide housing for Victorians and an obligation to end homelessness.
Further delays and tinkering around the edges will risk Victoria continuing to go around in circles like we have for decades when it comes to homelessness.
That’s why the Greens have introduced the Housing Amendment (Ending Homelessness) Bill 2021 in Parliament today.
The Bill would force the government to act and adequately address homelessness by:
- Acknowledging the right to housing
- Creating an obligation on the government to provide permanent housing to people facing homelessness
- Require a ten-year plan to end homeless that would include a big build of public housing
While the Greens recognise the government’s commitment to a big build of social housing in last year’s budget, they say that should only be a starting point.
The reality is there are over 100,000 people on the state’s public housing waiting list and it’s clear that specific ongoing investment in public housing is needed if we want to end homelessness in Victoria.
The Greens urge MPs across party lines to support this vital bill, and look forward to debating it at a later date.
As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“Homelessness is the number one social justice issue in Victoria but for too long our government hasn’t treated it as such.
“As this report has identified, there needs to be an immediate injection of funds into homelessness services. But to end homelessness for good, we need systemic change or we’ll keep going around in circles.
“That’s why our Bill would ensure those facing homelessness have access to a safe and secure home. It would also see ongoing investment in public housing over the next ten years.
“Until Victoria stops treating those facing homelessness as second-class citizens we will continue to be a national embarrassment.”