The state government has admitted it’s struggling to keep up with state-wide demand for public housing, as the waiting list in central Victoria continues to grow.
As of June, almost 1500 applications were active on the Victorian housing register waiting list for the Loddon region, which does not list the number of people per application.
Of those applications, more than a half – 829 – are listed as ‘priority access’.
The number of applicants has grown by five per cent from the previous quarter, and 15 per cent since June 2017.
The Loddon region, which includes Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges, Bendigo and Loddon shires, has around 3000 public houses.
Minister for Housing Martin Foley said the government was pressing ahead with a new funding model for community housing, which would include new partners from the non-for-profit field and local councils.
“We need to look at how can we bring new partners, new assets into a new form of housing because while we see a record amount of people seeking access to our services we aren’t keeping up with the demand for the provision of those houses people want,” he said.
“No longer do we have the good old days of Commonwealth investment in this space so we’ve got to do more with different partners.”
The state government earlier this year announced $10 million to upgrade existing facilities at Virigina Hill – a public housing estate in Eaglehawk – which is part of a broader state-wide package to renew old assets.
In July, the government provided $139,400 for Mount Alexander Shire to explore the diversification of the shire’s housing options.
Mr Foley said the The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018, which passed through parliament last week, was part of the government’s ecological approach to the housing market in Victoria.
The bill gives greater protection to renters to ensure they’re not pushed into a position where they’re in need of social housing, Mr Foley said.
He said the Labor government’s $2 billion affordable housing package went some way to “turning around generational under investment in the whole ecology of housing”.