The Victorian Government’s discussion paper on social housing provides an opportunity for difficult conversations that are necessary if we are to gain the Victorian community’s support for the long-term solutions that are required.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Government’s public consultation on two discussion papers, Pathways to a fair and sustainable social housing system and Social Housing: a discussion paper, on the options to improve the supply of quality housing.
Many challenges exist in providing appropriate housing assistance for disadvantaged people, but to this point there has been little rigorous analysis or robust debate with a long-term solution in mind. We also note that much of the discussion in Pathways to a fair and sustainable social housing system is about circumstances that have been known for many years – long waiting lists, increased use by recipients of government income support, declining rental revenue, old stock, a maintenance backlog and a mismatch between housing stock and the profile of people needing social housing assistance.
The development of a new housing framework is an excellent opportunity for analysis and debate about solutions to these long-term problems, with a view to ensuring all Victorians are able to live in secure, affordable housing as one of the crucial underpinnings of social and economic participation in the mainstream life of the community.