While the Victorian Budget allocated $134 million to provide housing access and support for the homeless, the Nationals Member for Shepparton District, Kim O’Keeffe said it is nowhere near the amount urgently required to address the escalating number of individuals in need.
“I have written to the Housing Minister, Collin Brooks, requesting he come to our region and meet with the varied housing services and to see the critical need for support,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“Homelessness services are under immense strain as numbers continue to increase. Shepparton has one of the highest rates of homelessness across the state and I am seeing firsthand the impact this has on peoples’ lives.”
“Just last week we had a Shepparton woman in her 70s come into my office who had found herself homeless. She was in a state of distress as an arrangement of temporary accommodation had ended abruptly. The woman was seeking assistance for herself and her two sons, who were camping on the river.”
Ms O’Keeffe said that these are not isolated incidents but represents the current housing crisis many people in our region are facing.
“It’s also very frustrating to see empty public houses across the region sitting vacant at a time when we have significant waiting lists for people needing public housing. Surely a priority must be given to these houses to make them available as soon as possible once they become vacant.”
“People deserve a safe and secure place to call home, yet the State Budget fails to deliver any new capital investment,” said Ms O’Keeffe.