The Andrews Government's announcement of a multi-billion dollar investment in public and community housing has been widely welcomed, with Ballarat welfare groups saying the inclusion of "wraparound services" to assist people at risk to maintain their homes and pay rent is a strong encouragement.
However federal Liberal MP Jason Falinksi tweeted the initiative should be labelled "Socialist Victorian Government spends $5.3 billion to entrench inequality."
The Big Housing Build will be part of the state budget delivered on November 24. It says 12,000 public and community homes will be built between now and 2024, with $80 million allocated for Ballarat, and another $35 million for surrounding shires.
One-quarter of the investment will be in the regions, with 9,300 new social housing homes built across the state, although some of those will replace 1,100 existing public housing units.
Another 2,900 new affordable and low-cost homes will be built to "help low-to-moderate income earners live closer to where they work and provide options for private rental," the government says.
While there was little detail on exactly how many will be built in Ballarat, or when, CEO of Centacare in Ballarat Tony Fitzgerald says any investment is needed with the city's tight rental market.
"We could always do with more, and I'm being understated," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"In Ballarat the poor go out of the bottom of the rental market, and there is not enough social housing to meet the needs."
He says the state government has committed to removing any social housing development with 10 or more dwellings from council planning controls, in order to ensure the building projects move ahead quickly.
"Our biggest demand is for one and two-bedroom units, to deal with growing cohorts across age and wealth," Mr Fitzgerald said.
Mr Falinski, the MP for the NSW beachside electorate of Mackellar, said people, "should have the dignity and security of owning their own home."
"Not hope that one day you might give them one. This is why (the federal government is) focused on jobs, not entrenching inequality."
Premier Daniel Andrews, asked about Mr Falinski's statement, said, "Who?"
There are 2,412 people currently waiting for public housing in Ballarat.
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