Public housing residents in Victoria need dedicated ombudsman

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens will introduce a bill that would establish a public housing ombudsman when parliament resumes this week.

After decades of neglect by successive state governments, many of the state’s existing public housing units have effectively been left to rot.

Tower blocks have no recycling facilities, lifts break down regularly, bathrooms and kitchens are no longer fit for purpose and there is no sufficient cooling, leaving residents sweltering through increasingly hot summers.

To add insult to the injury, when residents do want to improve their living situation by accessing the complaints process set up by the DHHS, it is unclear and difficult to navigate.

The Greens’ bill would establish a dedicated public housing ombudsman to oversee the state’s public housing sector, handle complaints from tenants and monitor the government’s ability to look after existing public housing units.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the government could no longer ignore the needs of public housing residents, who deserved a safe and secure place to call home.

Last month a group of public housing residents started a petition calling for a public housing ombudsman, and with the Greens’ new bill that could become a much-needed reality.

As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:

“Sadly the state government has neglected public housing residents for decades, whose requests for basic maintenance and repairs have gone unanswered.

“It’s time for the government to make public housing and public housing residents a priority again by establishing an ombudsman to support and help resolve any issues faced by residents.”

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