Victoria Shadow Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell
Families Wait While Labor Fails On Housing
Victor P Taffa
The likely release of Premier John Brumby’s integrated housing strategy tomorrow means Victorian families battling punishing rents, public housing shortages and unaffordable housing have waited more than three years for more excuses from an incompetent Labor government.
“Since Labor first promised this strategy in September 2006, the suffering of many Victorian families has worsened.” Shadow Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell said today.
“John Brumby is not listening to Victorians and 1,250 days after Labor’s promise to deliver its integrated housing strategy, families are struggling with Australia’s largest public housing waiting list, sky-high private rents and house prices, and one of Australia’s tightest private rental markets.” Ms. Lovell said.
“Melbourne’s private rental vacancy rate for the September 2009 quarter was just 1.3 %, and just 9.2 % of dwellings let across Melbourne during the September quarter were affordable to lower income households.
“The cost of buying a home in Melbourne has skyrocketed, with REIV announcing a record high median house price of $540,500 for the December 2009 quarter, and reports that an average house in Broadmeadows will cost $1.2 Million in 10 years if prices continue to rise by as much as they have over the past decade.”
“Even Victoria’s incompetent housing minister has admitted there is no affordable accommodation for low-income families within 15 km of Parliament House.” Ms Lovell said.
Ms. Lovell said a new international study found that housing in Melbourne had become unaffordable, with a typical household now paying more than 50 % of its income to service a new mortgage on a median house, putting them under housing stress (6th Annual Demographic International Housing Affordability Survey, page 2). Housing stress is defined as paying more than 30 % of one’s gross income on housing costs.
Labor’s integrated housing strategy, which is likely to be released tomorrow, should include:
- Action to reduce Victoria’s public housing waiting list, which has blown out to almost 40,000 families;
- Action to expand Victoria’s private rental market;
- Action to improve housing affordability;
- A strategy for land release to ensure an adequate supply of affordable land throughout Victoria.
“The Minister admits there is virtually no housing in the city that is affordable to low-income families but will not act to help families. Instead, he has been busy removing vulnerable families from Victoria’s public housing waiting lists and distributing false media releases.” Ms. Lovell said.