The Victorian Greens have said a ‘big build’ of public housing will be critical if the government wants to end the state’s homelessness crisis, following the release of the Inquiry into Homelessness’ interim report.
The report has revealed that advocacy groups, those working in homelessness services and community members alike all see public housing as the top issue to consider when addressing homelessness, followed by housing affordability and rough sleeping.
Of the 427 groups and individuals who provided their views, 121 marked public housing as their first priority. And taken together, the public housing and housing affordability priority areas constituted roughly 56 per cent of first preference responses.
As part of a Green New Deal for Victoria, the Greens want to see 100,000 new public housing units built between now and 2035, with 40,000 of these established over the next five years.
This would create over 10,000 much-needed jobs and 1,000 apprenticeships to help stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 crisis.
As stated by Victorian Greens acting spokesperson for housing, Sam Hibbins MP:
“Homelessness is the number one social justice issue facing Victoria. Decades of neglect from successive state governments has resulted in the public housing waiting list blowing out to 100,000 people.
“We’ve seen through this pandemic that when governments choose to act they can end homelessness.
“This report confirms the best way to end homelessness is to build more public housing. A big build of public housing homes would provide thousands of Victorians with safe and secure housing, while creating much-needed jobs.”