Rental crisis inquiry to go ahead, despite Labor's attempts to block it


The Victorian Parliament will launch an investigation into the state’s worsening rental crisis, despite attempts from the Victorian Labor Government to block it from going ahead.

Last week, a Greens’ motion to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the rental crisis was voted down after Labor joined forces with the Property Council and right-wing members of the cross-bench against the inquiry.

However, the committee that would been tasked with undertaking the inquiry – the Legal and Social Issues Committee – have voted to self-refer an inquiry into the rental crisis and housing affordability.

The inquiry will investigate things like:

  • The factors leading to low availability and high costs of rental properties.
  • Options to address insecurity, availability and affordability issues facing Victorian renters.
  • The adequacy of regulation with regards to standards and conditions of rental housing.
  • The adequacy of the rental system and its enforcement.
  • The impact of short-stays.
  • Barriers to first home ownership and the impact this has on rental stock.
  • The experience of, and impacts of all of the above on, renters.

Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said she was pleased the committee had recognised the dire state of renting in Victoria, and the need for Parliament to provide urgent solutions.

She added that given there was nothing to support renters in this week’s State Budget, it was even more critical that the problems and the solutions to this crisis were put squarely in front of the Government.

The Greens are also currently urging the Government to introduce an immediate two-year rent freeze to protect renters while long-term solutions are being investigated. 

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:

“Last week, Victorian Labor turned its back on renters by blocking our push for an inquiry into the rental crisis.

“It was a slap in the face to renters, many of whom are just one rent rise away from homelessness.

“But despite Labor’s disgraceful attempts to deny the rental crisis, it is good news for renters that the Committee will now investigate the worsening rental and housing affordability crisis.

“The rental crisis in Victoria is out-of-control. We’re seeing retired women sleeping in cars and families with school kids living in tents. 

“I’ve heard from renters that are struggling with rent hikes of $200 per week. 

“This inquiry will put the problems and solutions directly in front of the Government who have been ignoring renters for too long.”