News Politics Australian Politics Victoria puts $5.3 billion into massive social housing construction initiative

Victoria puts $5.3 billion into massive social housing construction initiative

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Salvaged softwood from Kangaroo Island will be used to ease an acute shortage of building timber. Photo: Getty
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The Victorian government is expected to commit $5.3 billion toward building 12,000 social housing homes.

The package will reportedly include more than 9000 new homes and the replacement of 1100 existing public housing units, with nearly 3000 homes built to help people on low-to-moderate incomes liver closer to work.

Victorian Greens acting housing spokesperson Sam Hibbins welcomed the package but said there are more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for public housing.

“Homelessness is the number one social justice issue facing this state and the best way to fix it is by building homes for people in need,” Mr Hibbins said in a statement on Sunday.

Victorian Council of Social Service chief Emma King said the program would be a “massive leap” toward solving the state’s housing and homelessness crisis.

“This colossal investment will mean fewer people cold, hungry and homeless, and more people in work,” Ms King said in a statement.

Homelessness will worsen without increased investment in social housing, welfare advocates say. Photo: ABC

“A single investment of this scale has not been seen in many decades, if ever. It’s a game changer.”

“Housing is a springboard to a good life, a life of wellbeing. With a roof over your head, you can overcome all the other challenges more easily.”
Council to Homeless Persons chief Jenny Smith also welcomed the “historic level” of investment in social housing.

“Lack of social housing has been driving people into homelessness, and making it almost impossible for people to escape homelessness,” Ms Smith said in a statement.

“Without a secure affordable home, it is almost unachievable for people to engage in education or employment, much less to maintain their health and wellbeing.”

Premier Daniel Andrews and Housing Minister Richard Wynne are expected to unveil the package on Sunday.