Almost 25,000 children waiting for social housing in Victoria

Almost 25,000 children are waiting for social housing in Victoria, according to new figures revealing the scale of the state’s housing crisis.

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry published its report on Tuesday into the state’s plan to sell off nine Melbourne public estates to developers, the first stage of a long-term $185m strategy to renew ageing housing stocks.

The report laid bare the crisis facing the state’s social housing system, finding that a “continuous under-investment in public housing” had led to increasing unmet demand.

The report revealed 82,499 Victorians were on the social housing waiting list, including 24,622 children, through 36,742 new applications and 7,286 applications for a transfer. The report found the priority waiting list had “increased significantly in recent years” due to a loss of rental affordability, rapid population growth, family violence, disability, mental health and homelessness.

At the same time, Victoria was rated as having the lowest proportion of social housing units per capita in the country. About 3.5% of occupied units in Victoria were classed as social housing, well below the national average of 4.5%.

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