Kim O’Keeffe, the Nationals Member for Shepparton District, has called on the Housing Minister, Colin Brook, to ensure that our region is included in the $1 billion Regional Housing Fund, announced following the cancellation of the 2026 Regional Commonwealth Games.
“We have not had anywhere nearly enough invested into housing in our region and the rate of homelessness continues to rise,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“In his address in Parliament on Tuesday, Colin Brooks said that a fair distribution will occur across regional Victoria, and I urge the Minister to ensure that happens and to address the housing crisis in my electorate.
“We have one of the highest rates of homelessness across the state, with a waitlist for social housing at 2,659 at the end of 2022.
“This figure does not include those displaced from their homes in the October floods.
“Critically, it is alarming that 1,469 of those on the waitlist have fled domestic violence, have children with them, or who are living disabilities, and require additional support,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“I have seen firsthand the devastating impact being homeless has and my office is constantly inundated with people in need of help.
“As the cost of living continues to rise, the numbers will continue to grow as more people are unable to afford to pay their rent, mortgage, pay bills, or put food on the table.
“It is also heartbreaking to see people sleeping rough. More must be done. Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a place to call home,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“We have to do so much better in this space.”
Ms O’Keeffe has written to the Housing Minister calling the State Government to prioritise the electorate’s housing needs and make a significant difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness in the region.