City bucks trend for housing wait

THE number of people waiting for public housing in Warrnambool has dropped despite a statewide increase.

The city’s previous quarter registered a jump from 497 people to 503, but in the past three months the waiting list fell to 491.

While Portland’s waiting list had dropped from 85 in June to 56 in September, the December quarter figures were up to 62. 

The latest Victorian public housing waiting list report last week showed an overall 1.9 per cent increase in the December quarter after four successive quarters of statewide reductions.

However, Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell said it was still more than 4000 lower than the final waiting list released by the former government in September 2010.

The state waiting list in the December 2012 quarter increased by 685 to 37,130, compared with 36,445 for the September 2012 quarter — still much less than the September 2010 figure of 41,212.

“In recent months we have seen pressure on vulnerable families, especially single parents in private rental, due to the Commonwealth’s cuts to their income support,” Ms Lovell said.

“It is possible part of the increase in the waiting list is due to these single parents reassessing their situation and applying for public housing.

“Since the end of the December 2012 quarter, a further 328 applicants from the waiting list have accepted offers to move into public housing properties,” she said.

“Another 309 new public housing units are also due to become available, so 637 applicants from the waiting list will be provided with state-subsidised homes.

“We have been working hard to make a difference for Victorians in the greatest need of housing, by reviewing vacancy rates, turnover procedures and times, and will continue to do so.”

Ms Lovell said work was continuing on a new Housing Framework to be delivered in 2013.

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