RELATED: Disability housing shortage 'dire'
FEDERAL Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield has responded to comments made by Victorian Disabilities Minister Martin Foley regarding the Commonwealth's role in providing disability housing services.
Mr Foley told the Bendigo Advertiser on Wednesday that he had written to Mr Fifield, urging him to "shoulder his share of the responsibility for disability housing under the National Disability Insurance Scheme".
Mr Fifield said the needs of people with disabilities in areas in Victoria outside of the trial NDIS site in Barwon were being ignored by the state government.
"It’s important to recognise that Mr Foley retains his existing responsibilities for the disability system outside of the Barwon NDIS trial site until the scheme is rolled out," he said.
"I have lost track of the number of organisations that have come through my door saying that the state government has told them there is no money available in the rest of the state for new supported accommodation because of Victoria's involvement in the Barwon NDIS site. The Andrews Government should not use the NDIS Barwon site as an excuse not to fulfil their current obligations in the rest of the state.
"The NDIS will have a strategic role in specialist disability accommodation which is being worked through with all governments. A considered NDIS housing policy will ensure the state government is not able to abrogate either its current responsibility for specialist disability accommodation beyond the Barwon or its ongoing responsibility for mainstream public and social housing."