The Labor Government must deliver more public housing to address rising homelessness and alleviate rent stress in Bass Coast.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said the rising cost of living was seriously impacting low income earners and the disadvantaged.
“Rents in the region have risen on average by 43 per cent and tenants experiencing rental stress is at 34 per cent, significantly higher than the Victorian regional average.
“Local housing advocates maintain that homelessness and housing waitlists on the Bass Coast are under reported.
“They identify low income earners, women over 55, women experiencing domestic violence, single parents and the disadvantaged are unable to access secure housing.”
The Victorian Housing Register (as at 30 June 2023) lists 1180 applications for public housing in the Bass Coast, with 664 listed as a priority. Cowes has 266 applications, Inverloch 302 and Wonthaggi 612.
On behalf of local advocacy group, Housing Matters, Ms Bath has called for Labor to prioritise 374 public houses for the region in State Parliament.
The group launched a petition which it presented to Labor’s Member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale and sent an open letter to the former Minister for Housing calling on the government to address the issue.
Ms Bath said the housing situation in Bass Coast is not new and shouldn’t come as a surprise to Labor.
“The 30 homes committed through Labor’s Homes Victoria’s Big Housing Build unfortunately won’t even make a dent in the public housing waitlist crisis.
“Labor’s Big Housing Build is heavy on spin and light on deliverables – it fails to even provide a timeframe for the delivery of the 30 homes despite them being on the table since 2020.
“Clearly there’s is an urgent demonstrable need for more social housing on the Bass Coast.
“I call on Labor to turn its attention to supplying bricks and mortar in a timeframe in line with community expectation.”