The Salvation Army plans to turn the $4 million worth of property that Warrnambool City Council is handing over to them into even more housing for those in desperate need of a roof over their heads.
The Warrnambool Salvation Army is also looking at options for building even more low-cost housing in the city to help alleviate the growing homelessness problem.
The council is handing over 13 properties to the Salvation Army after councillors unanimously voted to proceed with the plan.
Major Brett Allchin welcomed the handover which would come under the Salvos' Housing Victoria division.
"We are very pleased that we have got those because our intention is to build up even greater housing stock so that we can offer accommodation to those who are in desperate need of it," Major Allchin said.
He said some of the properties were in need of renovation, and that could happen soon.
Major Allchin said homelessness was a real issue in Warrnambool.
"I know a few folk who are living out of their cars at the moment as a consequence of COVID, they haven't been able to maintain their employment and continue to pay rent," he said.
"We're so grateful that the Warrnambool council sees that need and wants to rectify it."
Major Allchin said the Salvation Army was looking at other options to construct low-cost housing in the area.
"We, as a church, are looking at how best we can do that with development land we may have into the future," he said.
"Hopefully funding comes this way to help us do that."
Cr Ben Blain said it was an exciting social housing project that would deliver better service to clients and help address the shortage.
He said the plan received no objections from the current tenants.
"The other big plus they are going to get out of this is redevelopment of these properties," Cr Blain said.
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He said the hand over was part of the state government's $25 million big build project to deliver more social housing.
Cr Debbie Arnott said by transferring the properties to the Salvation Army, the council was helping to address the social housing problem in Warrnambool.
"It will help free up some housing stock. All in all, I just see it as a real positive for Warrnambool," she said.
Cr Richard Ziegeler said that by passing the properties on to the Salvation Army, the council was doing "the right thing".
"We're putting the resources where they are needed and taking them out of the hands of council," he said.
"Council doesn't have any role in providing housing stock for people. It's not really what we do very well."
Mayor Vicki Jellie said social housing was not council's core business and the move would better service the social housing needs in the city.
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