Labor isn't taking housing crisis seriously: Greens costing reveals ten times more rentals could be released


The Victorian Greens have said part of their plan to solve the state’s housing crisis could see more than 10,000 homes freed up as rentals, as opposed to just 600 under part of Labor’s plan.

In more signs that the Victorian Labor Government isn’t taking the housing crisis seriously, an independent Parliamentary Budget Office costing obtained by the Greens has revealed that an enforceable vacancy tax — something the Greens have been calling for for some time — would incentivise up to 10,000 more homes to be made available as rentals across the state.

While Labor’s housing plan — including its own vacancy tax changes before Parliament — would effectively do nothing to increase the number of affordable rentals or public homes. 

The Greens have written to the government outlining their concerns that the recent housing statement will make the housing crisis worse. The Greens have invited the government to work with them on reforms that will work to address the spiralling housing crisis, including:

  • Rent controls to protect renters from out-of-control rent rises via a two-year rent freeze, followed by a permanent cap on rent increases.
  • Stop the plans to privatise public housing land and the wholesale demolition of public housing. And a government commitment to maintain existing housing and build 100,000 new public homes within the decade.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the new PBO data made clear the government is refusing to acknowledge the scale of the housing crisis.

She added that without the reforms the Greens have been putting on the table, the government’s housing plan would make the housing crisis worse.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:

“Labor’s housing plan will make the housing crisis worse.

“There’s nothing in it to prevent renters from continuing to face unlimited rent increases.

“Despite our state’s 125,000 public housing wait list, the plan will see 44 public housing towers demolished and thousands of residents displaced, only for most of the land to be sold off to private developers.

“And as this costing makes clear, Labor is giving up on making housing more affordable because they are opposing plans that could free up over 10,000 homes as potential rentals.

“To ensure our support for any housing plan bills before Parliament, the government will need to commit to reforms that will work such as rent controls, and building more public housing instead of privatisation and selling off public land.”