While people are whinging about paying a tiny levy to help people they were pretending to care about just a fortnight ago, the housing crisis gets worse:
THE scale of Victoria’s public housing crisis is revealed in government figures that show disadvantaged people are waiting up to 18 years before they are given a home.
With more than 41,000 people waiting for housing, the figures show the longest waiting time of an applicant allocated public housing last financial year was 226 months – 18 years and 10 months – in Melbourne’s southern suburbs. The average waiting time for those allocated public housing in that region was almost four years.
Other long-suffering people who were allocated housing in 2009-10 include one applicant who waited 199.6 months – more than 16½ years – in south-western Victoria, where the average waiting time was 20 months. In Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, the longest wait was 184.7 months – more than 15 years – and the average wait was just over two years.
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Even those classified as ”priority” cases because they have more urgent housing needs are waiting several years.
The new government’s response is to promise to blame any delay in fixing this on the previous government, and suggest putting people in non-preferred areas (ie away from families and support networks) if a house doesn’t open up near where they’re seeking to live. As if the problem is picky tenants rather than the complete shortfall in public housing infrastructure.
Of course, if you can blame the homeless for their plight, then that alleviates any sense of guilt or responsibility we might feel regarding our failure to assist them, so that’s the angle some commenters to the story have been taking:
After living in Victoria for 15 years, I know that a lot of people waiting for public housing will not accept a house if it is not in the street that they requested. It’s time for these people to accept whats given to them instead of complaining all of the time. If you want a hand out, accept what is offered instead of waiting for what you want.
daaron | qld – January 31, 2011, 7:21AM
Ooh! A vague anecdote! Of course, Daaron, if someone was refusing a house then it would be available for someone else, thereby reducing the waiting list – the problem is a lack of houses, not picky applicants.
Other commenters are similarly determined to find some way to blame the homeless:
Surely 10-18 years is ample time for someone to try and make an effort with their life and turn it around? Maybe some of this money being allocated to this sector could be used to hire a few motivational coaches as it seems many of these people psychologically cannot get themselves out of this rut they’re in.
Mum of many | Melbourne – January 31, 2011, 7:24AM
Of course! Life coaches so they can be better motivated to seek the non-existent jobs!
Roy’s mate is getting bitter the longer they’re off air:
Lets see, we have public housing being used by people selling drugs yet the decision to evict them is overturned. We have public housing being used by people with incomes well over the state average, and yet they are not evicted. Face it, if you had a subsidised house in the middle of Prahran or other inner city suburb wouldn’t you want to stay there? How much do the rates etc for these areas cost the public? and isn’t it time the rules were closely examined.
H.G | Melbourne – January 31, 2011, 6:39AM
As is Lee:
The Department does not manage their properties and does not check who is living in their homes after the first few months, so they are all sub let or used, like my neighbours flat, to deal drugs from and have ultra loud parties day and night at
lee | melbourne – January 31, 2011, 8:47AM
Poor people sell drugs from their housing commission flats? We should kick them out and make them sell drugs from street corners instead!
If we make them live on the streets, they’re bound to turn away from crime.
And check out this ludicrous “asylum seekers in detention have it easy” line:
Don’t wait 18 years…Get to Darwin, rent a fishing boat and head north. Make a quick phone call and wait for the navy to arrive. It’s just that easy.
zac48 | Melb. – January 31, 2011, 8:07AM
Come on, Department of Immigration. I know Zac’s probably an Australian citizen, but he so desperately wants to be treated like an asylum seeker. Are you sure you can’t stretch the rules, just this once?
Just because Australia’s a first world country, there’s no reason why we should feel to compelled house the homeless and their children. If they can’t find somewhere to live in this massively inflated housing market where prices are through the roof and rents increasingly absurd, if they can’t start companies of their own to provide themselves with job opportunities that presently don’t exist, then it’s not our problem. We can always look the other way when we see them begging in the street, and ask the police to lock them up for us.
In completely unrelated news, who’s up for a whinge about crime rates?