Mornington Peninsula Shire Council Mayor, Anthony Marsh, has written to Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, to seek urgent support for housing and homelessness in the municipality.
In the letter – which was jointly signed by Mayor Marsh; Mornington Community Support Centre CEO, Ben Smith; Southern Peninsula Community Support CEO, Jeremy Maxwell and Western Port Community Support Executive Officer, Georgia Hourn – the parties expressed “disappointment and dismay at the continued lack of funding and support from your government to address the tragic housing and homelessness crisis on the Mornington Peninsula”.
“We are in desperate need of immediate funding. We require $100 million from the Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to begin addressing this crisis, yet we’ve received just 0.1% despite having one of the highest levels of housing stress in Victoria,” the letter states.
In a list of statistics included in the letter to Premier Andrews, he was told that 1,000 people were currently experiencing homelessness in the Mornington Peninsula community.
“We have the sixth worse area for rough sleeping in Victoria. There are no funded crisis accommodation facilities on the Peninsula, and 16% of homeless residents are rough sleeping ever night,” the letter states.
Further, it said nearly 4,000 residents were on public housing waiting lists, while a 31% increase in rents over the past year was causing significant rental stress.
Mayor Marsh said currently just three rental properties on the Peninsula had been classed as affordable for low-income earners over the past year.
“There are no Government funded agencies on the Mornington Peninsula providing preventative case managed housing support to those who are at high risk of becoming homeless and facing impending homelessness,” the Mayor wrote.
“Our commitment to fix this tragedy has resulted in an extraordinary decision from Council to provide parcels of land in Hastings, Mornington and Rosebud, worth millions of dollars, for infrastructure investment for social and affordable housing.
“We can’t fix this alone. So where is the fair and equitable investment from the Victorian Government?”
Council is seeking a minimum $100 million commitment to the Shire from the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build program, along with urgent investment in social and affordable housing and homelessness support services.
“Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is ready to partner with the State as part of our social and affordable housing commitment in a three-way partnership with the Victorian Government and Registered Housing Agencies,” the Mayor said.
“We are desperately seeking our fair share of funding. Please don’t abandon our community at this critical time.”