Have your say on Victoria’s rental and housing crisis

The Parliamentary Inquiry into rental and housing crisis in Victoria is under way, with public submissions open until early July said Nationals MP, Melina Bath.

Ms Bath said the issue of rental and housing affordability continues to grow across eastern Victoria.

“I have spoken with individuals, relief agencies, local councils and property agents, and the overwhelming response is it’s an incredibly difficult market for people looking for somewhere to live,” Ms Bath said.

“The rise in property prices, cost of living and interest rates and have added even more pressure, making it challenging to find a safe and secure place to live.”

“It is concerning that Victoria’s public housing waitlist is also experiencing record high levels.

“Those in urgent need of public housing assistance are forced to wait years to get a roof above their heads.

“Many have little choice and are stuck using unsuitable transitional housing options including homelessness, sleeping rough, couch surfing, boarding houses or crisis accommodation.”

Recent analysis by the Council to Homeless Persons showed the number of homeless people is continuing to grow in Eastern Victoria region, with five state electorates listed in the top 20.

Homelessness increased in the Morwell electorate (#5) by 85 per cent, Pakenham electorate (#12) by 113 per cent, Evelyn electorate (#15), Nepean electorate (#20) by 58 per cent and Gippsland East (#14) electorate by 10 per cent.

The Inquiry into rental and housing affordability crisis is being run by the Parliament’s Upper House Legal and Social Issues Committee.

Ms Bath said this Inquiry is charged with examining the many challenges renters face, and the factors contributing to the current rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria.

“It is aiming to identify the factors that contribute to the low availability and high costs of rental properties.

“The barriers to first home ownership and the impact that this has on rental stock will also be explored.

“In addition, it will look at the regulations that cover the standards and conditions of rental housing, and the impact of short-stay accommodation on the housing market.

“The Committee wants to hear from everyday renters, property owners, industry experts and community organisations.

“Given the surge in homelessness in regional Victoria and low availability and high cost of private rentals, it’s important for the Inquiry to receive many submissions,” Ms Bath said.

Submissions close on 7 July 2023 and the Committee is to report back to Parliament by November 17, 2023.

Full details on the Inquiry and how to make a submission can be found on the Parliament of Victoria website. https://new.parliament.vic.gov.au/rentalandhousinginquiry