Constituency Question: Homelessness Services

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (11:57:30) — (13 404) My constituency question is for the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, and I ask: what services and support are provided by the Andrews Labor government to Yuroke residents that are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness? I was appalled to hear that the federal Liberal government will be locking in Tony Abbott’s cuts to housing and homelessness services, with no consultation, despite an increasing number of people at risk of homelessness. This is yet another conservative attack on the most vulnerable people in our community. I know that the minister is deeply passionate about ensuring every Victorian has access to safe and secure accommodation, and I look forward to hearing from him.


I thank the Member for her question and appreciate her concern about people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

The Andrews Labor Government launched Homes for Victorians to give all Victorians every opportunity to find a home. The government has committed $799 million since March 2016 in additional housing and homelessness support, including:

  • $109 million homelessness package to intervene early and provide targeted support to help get people back on their feet
  • $152 million Family Violence Housing Blitz to improve accommodation for women and children escaping family violence
  • $120 million investment to increase the supply of social housing
  • $185 million investment to redevelop public housing properties at sites across metropolitan Melbourne
  • $33 million to extend private rental brokerage to improve access to the private rental market for a further two years
  • $133 million for extra long term housing, more rental assistance, improved crisis accommodation and better support for people fleeing family violence.

The $799 million in additional housing and homelessness support complements the $2.1 billion in financial instruments as part of Homes for Victorians which will deliver thousands of new social homes. This significant investment will create new permanent housing and provide the necessary wrap around support services for vulnerable Victorians.

Through these investments, the Andrews Labor Government is committed to addressing homelessness in the Yuroke electorate, and across the State, by providing crisis and transitional accommodation and support, and private rental assistance. In Yuroke electorate, the government provides funding to local agencies which work together to deliver coordinated homelessness and housing assistance.

Let’s compare that record with the previous Government. The Family Violence Royal Commission outlined the last government’s $330m cut to housing. Investment in acquisitions and renewal fell from $462.8m in 2009-10 to $131m in 2014-15. The Productivity Commission’s 2015 Report on Government Services revealed that the Federal Government made that a $470m cut when their cuts were added in. The Federal Government has confirmed that they’re not putting any extra funding into homelessness, and just puts forward proposals for greater restrictions on the States.

I thank the Member for her question and can assure her that the Andrews Labor Government will continue to address homelessness within her electorate, and also will continue to call on the Federal Government to show leadership on housing stress across Australia, something which is currently sorely lacking.

Hon Martin Foley MP
Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing