Why it Matters
I understand what it is like to have unstable housing – to sleep on the floor, to “couch surf” and to not know when I’d be able to manage finding a place to rent. Fortunately, I have never had to live exposed to the elements like many of the homeless in our community do. I feel very blessed to now be in a stable position to be able to rent a home for my son and myself.
Homelessness affects people from all walks of life. The City of Wyndham has seen an increase in homelessness of 76% between 2006 and 2016. Due to a shortage of affordable housing and an ever increasing cost of living, by 2016 as many as 730 people were homeless in the Werribee area. Of these more than half (384) were young people aged between 12 and 24 years (reported in the 2016 Census). Social housing makes up less than 1% of housing stock in Wyndham compared to the greater Melbourne average of 1.7% (reported by Housing in Wyndham, March 2018). We need to address this alarming and growing trend to ensure that every person and every family in Werribee has a safe and stable home.
- Investment in public, social and crisis housing must be increased in Werribee.
- Establish a crisis intervention and service hub to address lack of crisis accommodation by offering both crisis support and prevention support.
- Improved co-operation between local and state government.
- As the Independent member for Werribee I would hold the state government to account to ensure it plays its part.
What I’ve Done
- I regularly meet with Homelessness Networks, Salvation Army and other stakeholders to keep abreast of the Homelessness crisis in Werribee area.
- I advocated for $5 million with recurrent funding of $1.03 million per annum to establish a crisis intervention and service hub.
- I've organised for a donations collection point for non-perishable foods and toiletries to be set up in my electorate office to be passed on to Werribee Support Housing, Uniting Care on a regular basis.
- Organised a table of colleagues to attend the Share the Dignity event, to raise money towards this charity which supports homeless women.
- Served breakfast to the homeless at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
- Further, my vote was critical to the passage of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 which will now provide better protections and improve home security and stability for renters in Victoria, helping reduce homelessness.