The state government would have public housing targets legislated under a new bill set to be first-read by the Victorian Greens in parliament today.
The Housing Amendment (Creating Jobs and Homes) Bill 2020 sets targets requiring a specific number of new public housing homes to be constructed over a period of time.
The bill sets the following targets:
- The construction or purchase of an additional 60,000 new public homes by 31 December, 2025
- The construction or purchase of an additional 100,000 new public homes by 31 December, 2030
The bill also includes mandatory reporting requirements to track the state government’s progress.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said that successive state governments had neglected public housing for decades and as a result the waiting list now exceeded 100,000 people.
She added that the pandemic had provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build back a better future, and that access to secure housing for everyone needed to be the first step.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“Before the last election, this State Labor Government committed to build 1,000 new public housing homes by 2022, and yet so far they've only built 57.
“The original commitment would have hardly made a dent in our 100,000-strong waiting list as it is, but the fact the government hasn't even built ten per cent of that is appalling.
“That’s why the Greens want to make building more public housing law - so that our government creates safe and affordable homes for those who need them.
“We’re in unprecedented times and that calls for an unprecedented response. To solve the homelessness and housing crisis facing Victoria right now, we need to build more homes - it’s really that simple.
“With the state budget due to be handed down within weeks, the government should make investing in public housing a priority, to help our economy recover from the pandemic and create much-needed jobs. It makes economic and moral sense.”