Housing stress on the rise in Hume


Elsie Lange

Hume council has described access to social housing as a “critical issue” in the municipality, as new data reveals nearly eight per cent of Hume households are suffering from housing stress.

Housing stress is faced by people who are experiencing homelessness, living in overcrowded homes or spending more than 30 per cent of their incomes on rent.

A report by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) based on census data showed an estimated 6100 households (7.7 per cent of all households) faced unmet housing needs on census night.

In the state electorate of Sunbury, there were 1500 households facing housing stress, or six per cent.

Hume council said the increased number of people experiencing housing stress required all three levels of government to work together as “genuine partners” to invest in more social housing.

Council said historically, the local government area had comparatively “good levels” of housing affordability within Melbourne, but this was changing due to the rising costs of property relative to household incomes.

Hume mayor Joseph Haweil said access to safe, secure and affordable housing was a human right that should be given to all residents in the municipality.

“We will continue to be the voice for residents in advocating strongly to the federal and state governments the importance and urgency of developing new and redeveloping existing public housing sites in Hume,” he said.

Cr Haweil has been vocal about the need to address public housing needs in the municipality, including upgrades at Banskia Gardens estate in Broadmeadows.

CHIA Victoria acting chief executive Jess Pomeroy said the figures demonstrated the need for more social housing in Victoria, and called on the state government to spend $6 billion on 20,000 social homes over the next decade.

“Victoria has the lowest proportion of social housing in the country. We urgently need governments to provide a clear, long-term funding pipeline for social and affordable housing beyond the Big Housing Build,” she said.