The Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell’s attempt to blame everyone and everything else for the steep hike in public housing waiting lists in this region is not helpful, especially to the many people in the region who are on the waiting list or facing homelessness. It has regrettably become a standard response from the Liberal national government (see Letters in yesterday’s Bendigo Advertiser).
The public housing waiting list in the Loddon Mallee region has grown by 11.1 per cent, in Mildura a whopping 18.4 per cent, and in Bendigo 8.7 per cent.
The Baillieu-Ryan government’s failure to invest one additional cent in the construction of public housing for two years has led to this blowout, with more families waiting longer for housing.
Housing Minister Wendy Lovell has shifted the deckchairs for two years, but without investing in public housing, waiting lists were always going to grow.
Labor has been warning the Baillieu-Ryan government for more than two years that once the massive federal government investment in public and social housing came to an end, the list would start to balloon.
The $1 billion investment, part of the federal Labor government’s stimulus package, boosted Victoria’s social housing stock by a further 6500 units. This investment finished halfway through last year.
Their response to the Auditor-General’s Report last year was to conduct yet another expensive review.
This review has created great concern among public housing tenants in my electorate, with Ms Lovell failing to rule out selling off public housing, and the very real threat to increase rents and install fixed-term tenure.
I will continue to support and advocate on behalf of the growing number of constituents in my electorate who are facing homelessness, and who are waiting for public housing maintenance because of the Liberal national government’s failure to invest in public housing or give a damn about our most vulnerable and disadvantaged.