Government ignoring Shepparton’s homelessness problem

By Morgan Dyer

State member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell claims the Victorian Government is ignoring Shepparton’s homelessness problem as more than 372 locals continue to live without a home.

The recent social housing data reveals that the government would need to build 80 per cent more social housing properties in Shepparton to be able to accommodate the number of people who are currently on the waiting list.

There are 1259 households in Shepparton who are currently being assessed as being in need of social housing, revealing there is a far greater number of individuals who are seeking government help.

Ms Lovell is calling on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to act immediately to address the problem as the number of applications for social housing in Shepparton has blown out by 110 per cent in the past five years.

"The latest social housing data hits home the need for urgent action by the state government to address homelessness and the lack of social housing in the Shepparton area,” Ms Lovell said.

There is also a growing concern for the city’s most vulnerable individuals, including those living with a disability or suffering domestic violence, who are waiting longer than ever before for appropriate housing.

In the past five years applications from vulnerable people have blown out by 229 per cent from 180 priority list applications in September 2014 to 593 priority list applications in June 2019.

Ms Lovell said the Shepparton electorate had regional Victoria’s highest number of homeless people and it was obvious that more support for locals seeking government housing was needed.

"The state government is happy to brag about building additional social houses in Victoria but have limited their investment in regional Victoria to Geelong and Ballarat despite Shepparton being the regional electorate with the highest number of homeless people,” Ms Lovell said.

Shepparton's homelessness data far exceeds the state average as Victoria’s total social housing waiting list has increased by nearly 24 per cent.

The News tried to contact Housing Minister Richard Wynne but could not get in contact before this article was published. 

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