Housing wait still high

GIPPSLAND has experienced a slight fall in its public housing waiting list but almost 1000 people remain on a Latrobe Valley list.

Figures just released by the State Government showed slight reductions in the waiting lists through Morwell, Sale and Bairnsdale housing department offices, but Morwell’s figure remains much higher than those in East Gippsland, with 175 waiting in Sale and 271 in Bairnsdale.

Statewide, only Bendigo and Ballarat had more people on waiting lists for public housing, both of which have higher populations than the Valley.

After the figures were released, State Housing Minister Wendy Lovell announced $19.1 million to fund the continuation of the Accommodation Options for Families program over the next four years.

The minister said the extended program would help 3200 Victorian families access “a range of affordable and appropriate accommodation options, over four years”.

“Families can sometimes find themselves in difficult circumstances and struggle to find homes in the private rental market,” Ms Lovell said.

“In some cases they end up living in unsuitable accommodation, such as rooming houses, which can be overcrowded and unsuitable for children.

“It’s important to work with families to find them more appropriate housing, either in the social housing or in the private market, and help them maintain a tenancy.”

According to Ms Lovell, the Accommodation Options for Families program aims to deliver outreach support, assess families and the support they require and use brokerage in an effort to “flexibly and quickly” meet a family’s needs, including by obtaining bond money for private rentals or helping with rent in advance.