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Andrews’ longest lockdown drives homeless crisis in regional Victoria

People sleeping in tents, cars and caravans because they can’t afford rent is further evidence of Victoria’s mismanagement under Premier Daniel Andrews.

Last week the Age newspaper reported that the rental vacancy rate is below one percent in every regional area of the state except one.

More than 85,000 people have fled Melbourne since it was locked down longer than any city in the world under draconian Covid rules.

While most went interstate, scores went to regional Victoria and this has driven rents up by six to 12 per cent depending on the region.

This has squeezed low paid workers in hospitality, caring professions and services, overwhelming homeless services.

The Age reported:

Leanne Gray worked in customer service for 35 years, but when she was evicted from her rental home six months ago because the owners wanted to use it for their family, her only option was to move into a campground in Bendigo. She started off in a tent, and considers herself lucky to have a caravan which she shares with 25-year-old son Jake and Irish wolfhound Tiggy.

“We don’t have power here, we can’t shower,” Gray said. “It’s freezing here and we’re living in a tin can.”

Family First believes the cost-of-housing crisis is largely politician-induced.

State and federal governments must release more land and cut red tape and government charges that stymie development, adding costs. The role of the federal government’s housing tax arrangements must be reviewed.

Widespread home-ownership must become an urgent policy priority at both the state and federal level.

Governments must drop their ideological bias against families who wish to have a parent at home caring for children.

Family First has re-formed because Australian politics has vacated the field when it comes to looking after the social and economic well-being of families.

Lyle Shelton is National Director of Family First. Never miss an update, sign up here.