Victoria would have to build around 6,000 social housing properties each year for the next decade to be able to be within touching distance of ending homelessness.

Council to Homeless Persons CEO said Deborah Di Natale said almost a quarter of Victorians experiencing homelessness are doing so long-term.

“Having a large cohort of people experiencing homelessness long-term sends a clear message that there is simply not enough social housing in Victoria,” Ms Di Natale said.

“The scale of the housing and homelessness crisis is enormous but not insurmountable.”

Ms Di Natale said Victoria’s efforts must not stop with the Big Housing Build, a $5bn program aimed to build homes and create jobs in the state.

“It’s time for a major commitment for when that funding runs out, given the spiralling crisis which is unfolding,” she said.

A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed 18,074 Victorians experienced homelessness over the long term. In comparison, just 3,313 people were allocated social housing in the financial year 2018-2019.

Overall, 31,660 people — or 39.4% of the 80,361 involved in the AIHW study — need long-term housing.

Roughly 22.5% of people who received homelessness services in the FY 2018/19 also did so within two years before and after accessing support.

Meanwhile, around two-thirds of those who received homelessness services during the period were women, more than 10% were Indigenous, and nearly 40% had mental health issues.

“It’s so crucial that we never lose sight of how important it is to have programs that support the people in our community with the greatest vulnerability — targeted measures including wraparound support are key to addressing homelessness,” Ms Di Natale said.

“The housing crisis will simply not go away; decisive action will have incredible economic and social benefits for Victoria.”


Photo by Rido on Canva.