It was an absolute privilege participate in the forum on housing policy and solutions, organised by Maroondah Winter Shelter Homelessness Advocacy Group on Monday night.
I would like to acknowledge Rosemary, Murray, Andy, Robyn and Deb for making this online event happen. I was delighted to see approximately 100 Maroondah locals on the call to talk about the challenge of homelessness and housing affordability.
As I have said repeatedly in this chamber and elsewhere, having access to a safe, stable and secure place to call home is a basic human right. That’s why the Andrew’s Labor government has invested nearly $5.5 billion to construct more than 12 000 new social and affordable housing dwellings over the next four years.
What is absolutely clear is that the only way to address the acute level of homelessness in our community and across Victoria is via a Housing First approach. That is, put simply, we need to build more houses for our most vulnerable. The provision of safe and secure housing for our most vulnerable citizens should not be conditional upon checking boxes of social, economic or health-related measures.
I, together with the Victorian Minister for Housing, the Honourable Richard Wynne, invite the commonwealth to match Victoria’s historical social housing investment dollar for dollar. In doing so, we have an opportunity to end acute homelessness in Victoria within this decade.
Maroondah Winter Shelter Homelessness Advocacy Group is a terrific organisation. It is grassroots, local, engaged and made up of wonderful people who are set on looking out for others and building a stronger and more accepting community. Well done to all involved.