The number of evictions in Victoria has risen dramatically in the past four years – from almost 18,000 in 2012 to more than 43,000 in the 2016-17 financial year.
The reason is straightforward: as banks and property developers make astronomical profits from skyrocketing housing prices and rents, Victorians are being priced out of the housing market.
Average wages increased 75 percent between 2001 and 2016. But rents rose much faster, increasing by 110 percent. With real wages now stagnating, Centrelink payments pitiful and utility prices rising, working class Victorians are being squeezed.
Scandalously, stamp duty collections by the state government have increased by more than $2 billion since 2012 (reaching $6.5 billion). Despite this influx of revenue, the state government offers a pitiful $800,000 to address homelessness and has done virtually nothing to control rising rents.
Meanwhile, the Andrews government is selling nine inner city public housing estates to property developers.
The government claims there will be an increase in social housing. Yet the plans so far released clearly show that tenants will be crammed into a much smaller area of public land, and that there will be fewer bedrooms.
If someone is homeless, it means they lack a home. The obvious solution is to build more homes and let people live in them.