Homelessness Awareness Week – Statement from Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson

Homelessness continues to be a problem right across Melbourne, including in the City of Whittlesea where we estimate there are at least 630 people in our community who are homeless.

We know that many more thousands are suffering from housing stress and are at risk of becoming homeless. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic where many people have lost or had their incomes reduced, which adds to the cost pressure on household budgets.

Our research shows that we need at least 3800 more affordable homes to support our community. We have been working with local housing providers, community health and wellbeing partners and the Victorian Government on solutions to this challenge.

One of the projects already underway is the New Epping development, which will provide 151 affordable homes. We are also working with Hope Street Youth and Family Services on their bid to secure funding from the Victorian Government to support crisis accommodation for young people in the City of Whittlesea.

We have embedded affordable housing in our planning scheme to encourage property developers to build a range of housing types and are looking for ways Council can support future applications for affordable housing.

We are also pleased to be named in the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build program as a location for future funding for affordable housing.

These projects will make a big difference, but there’s more to do. Alongside our partners, Council will continue to work hard to ensure everyone has a place to call home.

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