“The Victorian Government has cut public housing waiting lists throughout Victoria by 15 per cent since 1999,” Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said.
“Specifically for the Portland region, over the past four years the waiting lists have been steadily decreasing with a drop of 8.4 per cent in the last quarter.
“In the last state budget, the State Government committed over $510 million to increase the numbers of social housing.
“Private rents are rising fast in Regional Victoria, between 2001 and 2007 the overall median rent in country Victoria increased by 19.0% above inflation, meaning there is more pressure on the public housing system from vulnerable Victorians.
“Commonwealth Rent Assistance has simply not kept pace, with around a quarter of recipients in rental stress.
“Despite this growing pressure, the previous Federal Government slashed over $1b from Victoria’s public housing system, costing Victoria over 5,000 new homes. Some of these homes would have been built in Portland.
“The Brumby Government is looking to work closely with the new Federal Government to bring waiting lists down in Portland and across the state.
“In particular, the new Federal Government has an innovate scheme to provide 50,000 new homes across Australia at 20% below market rent,” Ms Tierney said.