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Salvation Army wants housing assurance

2 August 2012

In a recent submission to the Victorian Government’s Pathways to a fair and sustainable social housing system, The Salvation Army has reaffirmed the Government’s responsibility to care for the vulnerable in our community.

Captain Jason Davies-Kildea said, “The Salvation Army welcomes the opportunity to comment on the reform of social housing and commends the Victorian Government’s commitment to improving the social housing system.  It is clear the current system is in crisis and there are a multitude of challenges to face, including serious financial concerns.  However, in the midst of the most serious housing affordability crisis in decades, there is increased responsibility on government and the community as a whole to care for those most vulnerable.  The last thing we want to do is to create a housing system which is less accessible, less affordable and which forces even more people into homelessness.”

The Salvation Army’s submission highlights the following themes:

  • Any reform to the social housing system must meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including individuals with multiple and complex needs.
  • Any reform to social housing cannot be made in isolation of housing affordability.
  • The State Government must continue to invest in public housing at a level which enables the system to provide appropriate and affordable housing to those most in need.
  • The State Government should invest in the community housing sector as a supplement, not replacement, to public housing, recognising that community housing has certain strengths and can play an important role in growing and diversifying the social housing sector but does not meet the needs of everyone.
  • The State Government should invest in tenancy support programs as a means to increase social housing efficiency and improve social outcomes for tenants.

Recent surveys of affordable housing in Melbourne show that there were no affordable rental properties available for single or couple households reliant on Government income support payments.  According to Captain Davies-Kildea, “The steady decline in public housing in Victoria has severely narrowed the options available to people who can’t afford to keep a roof over their heads in the current private rental market.  Ultimately, it’s far more cost effective for the community to have a good social housing system than to force people to move into housing situations that are inappropriate, unsafe or unaffordable, which results in bad outcomes for everyone.”

The full submission can be found at:
Pathways to a Fair and Sustainable Social Housing System – Public Consultation

For more information please contact:

The Salvation Army, Australia Southern Territory
Territorial Communications & Fundraising Department, 95-99 Railway Road, Blackburn VIC 3130
T: 03 8878 2400
E: salvosaus@aus.salvationarmy.org