The Victorian Greens will today second-read a Bill that would push the Victorian Government to end homelessness across the state by 2030.
The Human Rights and Housing Legislation Amendment (Ending Homelessness) Bill 2022 would amend the Housing Act to set a target to end homelessness in Victoria by the end of the decade, and ensure the Victorian Government created a plan to achieve it.
The plan would need to adopt a Housing First approach, where homelessness is addressed by immediately providing a person with adequate long-term housing.
The plan would also have to set out the details of how homelessness will be reduced over the decade, including how many new homes will be created in order to meet the target, what types of housing the new homes would be, how much funding would be given to housing support services, and how many people would be permanently housed each year to 2030.
To ensure proper scrutiny of the ending homelessness plan, the plan would need to be tabled in parliament within ten sitting days after it has been prepared.
The Bill would also amend the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 to establish a charter right to adequate housing.
To date there has been no right to adequate housing within the charter, meaning there has been no obligation or mandate to protect Victorians from being evicted into homelessness.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said despite some state government investment in social housing, the critical thing missing in Victorian legislation has been any long-term planning for addressing our state’s housing and homelessness crises.
She added that years of short-term vision and sporadic funding had barely scratched the surface of the unmet need for affordable housing, pushing more people into homelessness.
The Greens’ Bill will be debated and voted on during the next sitting week.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“Homelessness is the biggest social justice issue facing Victoria right now.
“And yet too often, our governments describe homelessness as difficult or impossible to solve… all words used to avoid taking responsibility for homelessness in Victoria.
“It’s time we stopped pretending homelessness is an impossible problem, and a permanent part of Victoria.
“Ending homelessness in our state is possible. Not only that, but it’s possible by the end of the decade. All we need is a plan to achieve it.