Victoria’s homelessness crisis demands immediate and ongoing attention, according to the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria that was tabled today.
Council to Homeless Persons CEO Jenny Smith commended the Committee for recognising the critical role that access to adequate social housing and income support plays in both preventing and responding to homelessness.
“The Committee has understood that if JobSeeker is increased so that people can afford rent, and there is an adequate supply of social housing, then there would be far fewer people experiencing homelessness,” Smith says.
“We particularly welcome the recommendation to include the right to housing in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, and for new mechanisms to deliver more social housing like inclusionary zoning, and priority use of surplus Government land, as well as ongoing direct investment by Government.
“If people experiencing homelessness can be rapidly helped to move into affordable long term housing then we will fix the current bottleneck of people in refuges and crisis accommodation.
“To create a system where people are able to be quickly rehoused, the housing must be there!”
The Committee also highlighted what those in the sector already know. Victoria’s homelessness system is severely under-resourced.
“Funding for homelessness services has not kept pace with the amount of people requiring support, which has been growing over a period of many years,” Smith says.
“We welcome the Committee’s recommendations for greater investment in the workers needed to have a stronger focus on prevention of homelessness, particularly for young people, for more early intervention to quickly re-house people, and for a longer tail of support to help people with more complex needs to stay housed.”