Labor’s Big Housing sham failing the homeless

Nationals MP, Melina Bath has blasted the Andrews Government on its failure to build new social and affordable housing stock in eastern Victoria, labelling its Big Housing Build an expensive sham.

National Homelessness Week, which runs from 7 August – 13 August has been signified on the steps of State Parliament through the placement of 6,000 origami houses.  The paper houses represent the number of additional homes Labor would need to deliver each year to address the growing homelessness crisis in the state.

The 2021 Census data published recently shows over 30,000 Victorians were without a home, representing 27 per cent of the national figure.

Ms Bath said the evidence shows the Andrews Government is more concerned about spinning headlines than putting a secure roof over the heads of vulnerable people.

“Big budgets are completely meaningless unless you’re actually reducing the rate of homelessness and delivering new dwellings.

“The fact is that despite half of Labor’s $5 Billion Big Housing Build budget being spent, there is only a statewide increase of 74 new homes in real terms under this program since it commenced in 2020.

“A simple cost benefit analysis shows Labor has zero credibility when it comes to delivering on social and affordable homes to address the growing housing and homelessness crisis.”

The Gippsland Homelessness Network (GHN) paints a grim picture of the housing and homelessness crisis in Gippsland – stating it is a result of the “lack of available and affordable housing”.

The Council to Homeless Persons said, “The crisis is significant” and “One-off commitments are welcome, but simply won’t be enough to reverse decades of social housing policy neglect.

Ms Bath said local support organisations are being swamped by a growing number of individuals and families seeking assistance to alleviate food insecurity, bill, and rental stress.

The rising cost of living, pressures on the family unit, increasing mental health issues, climbing rents and metropolitan migration in Gippsland are all fuelling the problem.

“When 100,000 Victorians sought assistance for homelessness in the past year, it’s sure sign that Labor’s Big Housing Build has not shifted the dial one inch.

“The Nationals will continue to hold Labor to account over the housing and homelessness crisis – it must tell locals when and where they can expect a significant increase in social and affordable housing in Gippsland and unequivocally commit to delivery date.”