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Beyond Housing calls for bold Budget action

Beyond Housing is calling on the Victorian Government to prioritise homelessness in next month’s State Budget.

CEO Celia Adams said the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) 2024-2025 Budget submission presents a roadmap to address the immediate social housing crisis and invest in a strategy to end homelessness in the state.

“The time for incremental changes has passed. What we need now is bold action,” she said.

“The comprehensive investments proposed by CHP are critical to ensuring we address the immediate housing needs of tens of thousands of people and lay the foundations for a long-term solution to end homelessness.

“The people of the Goulburn and Ovens Murray regions, especially those experiencing homelessness, deserve no less.”

The 2021 Census data shows that Greater Shepparton region and surrounding areas had the highest number of people experiencing homelessness, with a total of 539 people. Following that, Wodonga had 215, Wangaratta 128, and Seymour 67. 

Currently, there are over 5000 people on the waitlist for social housing in Victoria. Half of these are classified as priority applicants. As of December last year, there were 2239 people in the Shepparton district, 2146 in Wodonga, 956 in Wangaratta, and 594 in Seymour.

Based on these figures, Beyond Housing strongly supports the proposal’s focus on addressing regional needs.

“Guaranteeing that 25% of new housing is allocated to regional Victorians recognises and attempts to tackle the distinct challenges faced outside metropolitan Melbourne. It is a positive step towards reducing the disparity in housing availability and support services,” Ms Admas said.

Other critical elements of CHP’s State Budget submission include:

• $20 billion over four years to grow public and community housing stock by 24,000
• $23.4 million over 4 years to grow the Private Rental Assistance Program
• Continuation of lapsing funding for Pride in Place and the Homelessness After Hours Service
• A youth homelessness strategy and $4.2 billion over 4 years to build 5,000 social properties for homeless young people
• $423.8 million over 4 years expanding Victoria’s Housing First program to 3,800 places
• $366.8 million over 4 years delivering the blueprint for an Aboriginal-specific homelessness system
• $5.3 million in 2024-25 for a dedicated crisis-transitional housing facility for transgender and gender-diverse Victorians.

For more information or interviews contact:
Sue Masters
0448 505 517