The latest public housing waiting list figures released today demonstrate the importance of Labor’s record social housing building program, Housing Minister Richard Wynne said.
“We understand that many of Victoria’s families and singles are struggling in a tough housing market, with housing affordability one of the biggest challenges we face,” Mr Wynne said.
“Last week’s State Budget showed that Victoria’s record investment in social housing is making a difference, with more than 3,800 new homes for low-income Victorians set to be acquired during 2010-11. This is the biggest acquisition program in a single year since the 1956 Olympics,” Mr Wynne said.
“This investment is now more important than ever, with public housing waiting lists in the Hume Region increasing by 2.9 per cent during the three months to March 2010 due to pressure from record private market rents and all-time low vacancy rates.”
“The Brumby Labor Government believes every Victorian deserves a home that is safe, affordable and secure. That’s why we will invest nearly $1 billion in building new social housing during 2010-11, on top of the nearly $1.1 billion invested in 2009-10,” Mr Wynne said.
He said this investment would deliver on important commitments including the Nation Building Social Housing initiative, which will build 4,500 new homes for low-income Victorians across the state.
“More than 3,000 of these new homes are already under construction – including 39 new homes in Wangaratta and 95 new homes in Greater Shepparton,” Mr Wynne said.
“In total, more than 330 new homes will be built across the Hume region – and 257 of these homes are already under construction,” Mr Wynne said.
Despite the pressure in the private rental market, the state-wide public housing waiting list, which stands at 39,794 applicants, is still lower than the 41,000 it stood at in 1999 when the Labor Government was elected.
“The pressure is now on Ted Baillieu to tell Victorians what he would do to secure more affordable housing for low-income Victorians.
“In four years as Opposition Leader Mr Baillieu has committed a ludicrous total of $5 million to building long-term rental accommodation for low-income Victorians,” Mr Wynne said.
“Victorians are right to wonder why, despite issuing 75 media releases about the Housing portfolio since the 2006 election, Mr Baillieu and his Housing spokesperson Wendy Lovell refuse to put forward any policies or commitments to support vulnerable Victorians,” Mr Wynne said.
The current waiting list information is available at www.housing.vic.gov.au.