Not in their backyard? Wealthy suburbs need to back public housing

Melbourne is in the grip of a homelessness and housing crisis. The CBD saw a 74 per cent increase in rough sleeping between 2014 and 2016.

The problem is so big in the City of Port Phillip that Launch Housing staff will be working with staff from Sacred Heart Mission and others to undertake a “street count” there in the next few weeks.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that for 2015-16, there were 275 requests for assistance per day from homelessness services that could not be met.

With this backdrop, you would assume that our elected representatives would be doing what homelessness services have been doing for years – putting aside differences and long held positions to do whatever it takes to find housing and to get people housed.

Given this, the entire sector was shocked when the state Coalition and Greens combined to veto a social housing development in Ashburton, along with a threat to knock off nine similar projects. We are dumbfounded that our elected representatives could be so careless as to do this without talking to those of us working to get people housed.

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