| June 27, 2023

Staggering rise in Lowan homelessness

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Emma Kealy is alarmed by recently released figures which show a 72 per cent increase in reported homelessness in Lowan between 2016 and 2021.

The figures, which were released by the Council to Homeless Persons from its recent analysis report ‘Victoria’s Top 20: Areas with surging homelessness’, show Lowan has experienced the 15th highest increase in homelessness across the state.

The report also revealed that the number of people living in supported accommodation for the homeless in Lowan has increased by 82 per cent since 2016, and the number of people living in severely crowded dwellings has more than doubled.

The Census data suggests that 30,660 people are homeless on any given night in Victoria, representing 47.1 people per 10,000 Victorians.

The figures include people living in their cars or on the street, people in boarding houses, temporary accommodation, or accommodation for the homeless.

“The report’s statistics paint a grim picture, not only for Lowan but right across Victoria, with a 24 per cent increase in homelessness across the state, four times more than the national average of 5 per cent,” Ms Kealy said.

“It is imperative that all levels of government unite in their efforts to tackle this critical issue head-on and collaborate with community organizations, local businesses, and stakeholders to create a comprehensive support network for individuals experiencing homelessness.

“By encouraging partnerships across assistance programs, we can provide much-needed support to those in need and help them regain stability in their lives by having access to safe, secure, and affordable housing options,” she said.

Ms Kealy also called on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately provide targeted and sustainable investment in social housing and homelessness supports in Victoria.

“In recent budget hearings, Victorian taxpayers learnt that the promised 12,000 homes in the Andrews Government’s ‘Big Build’ will actually only amount to around 8513 homes,” Ms Kealy said.

“There are currently almost 68,000 families waiting for a home in Victoria, but the net increase in public housing has only been an additional 74 properties since 2018.

“With escalating cost of living pressures, the situation is only going to get worse unless immediate action is taken to address this growing crisis.

“Labor are punishing Victorians for their financial mismanagement and waste.”         

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