High rents and the wait for public housing is forcing Warrnambool families into homelessness, a former mayor of the city says.
Long-time St Vincent de Paul volunteer Jack Daffy said he knew of at least one family living in their car as public housing properties lay vacant.
“There was one lady with four kids camping in a car,” he said.
“I’m appalled when I see houses that are empty and there’s people out there who are homeless and looking for houses.
“I counted 28 that are still owned by the ministry and are still vacant.”
The Department of Health and Human Services said the figure was much lower and most had been offered to new tenants.
However, Mr Daffy said change was needed, including more frequent inspections to help prevent large-scale damage to department housing.
Mr Daffy said infrequent property inspections of public housing was contributing to the problem.
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