The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews handed down the 2020-20201 State Budget today describing it as grounded in "purpose".
The Premier explained the purpose of the Big Housing Build of $5.3bn, the biggest boost in social housing investment in Australia's history. He said it would make a difference in peoples' lives, which all starts with putting a roof over their heads. Housing, the Premier described, also supports recovery for people escaping family violence, mental health, as well as kick-starting our economic recovery by creating 10,000 jobs per year.
MCM welcomes the purpose at the heart of this budget and the investment in our community. The budget announced today is the biggest in the state's history, and its design meets many initiatives intelligently responding to multiple needs of our community.
With economic recovery at its core, this budget also makes significant advances in addressing gaps in homelessness, mental health and child protection. It also aims to stimulate job creation and supporting training and skills development.
One of the significant initiatives in the Victorian State Budget was a whopping $5.3 billion to build 12,000+ social housing homes over the next four years. This investment offers a step-change opportunity for homelessness services like MCM by unblocking the system by creating more housing options for those we support to exit out of homelessness. In turn, it means we should be able to, in coming years, support more Victorian's who experience homelessness.
While MCM praises the State Government's investment in social housing, MCM Chief Executive Officer, Vicki Sutton says deliberate strategies will be required to ensure young people can access this housing as they're disproportionately excluded from social and private housing due to their lower income levels and perceived risk as tenants.
"I applaud the government's commitment to building more social housing stock. To address youth homelessness we also need to ensure we can access the additional housing solutions for young people, who make up 2 out of every 5 people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. And we need to couple that housing with a period of supports including mental health, therapeutic supports to recover from trauma, access to education and employment, and living skills training.
"Young people, due to the disruption of homelessness and the factors that led them to it, have missed out on developing critical skills as they grow into adulthood. We need to address this so that they can create the future they deserve to sustain an independent life."
A smaller but critical investment in today's budget is $75m over four years to extend the right to every young person in out-of-home care to continue to receive support beyond 18 until 21 years of age. The Home Stretch campaign, supported by MCM and many of our sector colleagues, has long advocated for this critical change.
"We are thrilled to see this announcement, which will reduce the number of young people being exited from child protection into homelessness and presenting at our Frontyard service," Vicki added.
To arrange an interview with Vicki Sutton, contact Brendan Carroll, PR Manager, on 0400 393 393.