Are Struggling young families to become the future homeless?

Homelessness is at critical point in regional Victoria as there simply isn’t enough public or social housing available for low-income earners and unemployed.

Young struggling families with children at a local school, with friends and established social networks in the area, are being forced to move to other distant cheaper areas, because they can simply can no longer keep up with an increasing commercial rent market and there is no affordable habitable housing or (for those who will meet the threshold) public housing.

The Labor party idea to fund expensive infrastructure such as an exorbitantly expensive and unnecessary metropolitan rail system seems ill-conceived when the most basic of needs – a secure roof over the heads of Australian families, the homeless, women with children fleeing domestic violence and older Australians, particularly women, is at crisis levels.

One of Victoria’s largest community housing associations, Haven Home Safe in Bendigo provides accommodation to people at affordable rentals through the Victorian Housing Register.

The new CEO, Trudi Ray recently said there is a need to do more to serve the “vulnerable people in our community, at a time when homelessness and housing affordability is at crisis point,” (Bendigo Times September 30 2022).  Ms Ray said: “I’ll be focused on striking the right balance between our commercial ambition and our social justice core so we can build capacity to be an even greater force for good.”

Ms Ray had previously pushed for an additional 13,500 social and affordable houses, but admits that by 2041 it will be a difficult goal to reach, and in the meantime the cost of living and rent increases each year.

But what is that balance and what is the availability of public housing, when inflation is on the rise, and the cost of living and rent is soaring?

Where does current Labor policy priorities that leave not only the homeless, but struggling young families and women with children, and older women and men who will sleep in cars or accept sub-standard low-cost accommodation, to avoid rough living on the streets?

This is a question of priority and it’s time the housing issue is exposed and addressed with and a shift in funding where it is urgently needed. A home is one of the most basic needs, a safe, affordable and secure home.

I will be looking at the issue of public and social housing and making achievable, concrete suggestions about how more social and public housing could become a reality in Regional Victoria as well as how the issue impacts women fleeing from domestic violence.

A Vote for Marilyn Nuske Independent Candidate Bendigo West No 1 will be a vote for a voice for funding for greater public housing and provision of more social housing in Regional Victorian towns.

Marilyn Nuske

Independent Candidate Bendigo West

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