New research maps 'corridor of homelessness'

Property price increases and social housing shortages are the biggest contributors to homelessness (Bigstock)

New research by the Council to Homeless Persons has mapped Victoria's homeless population using data from the 2016 Census to give a true picture of homelessness across the state. Source: The Age.

It has revealed what the council calls a “corridor of homelessness” stretching from the western suburbs in St Albans into the CBD and through to Dandenong.

The council has calculated homeless numbers for each state electorate.

Its research reveals the Greens-held seat of Melbourne has the city’s largest homeless population (1617 people), followed by the safe Labor seats of Dandenong (1158) and Footscray (894), marginal Labor-held Richmond (792) and safe Labor seat of St Albans (739).

Burwood, with 471 people experiencing homelessness, is the only Liberal-held seat in the worst 10.

Council to Homeless Persons acting chief executive Kate Colvin said the research proved homelessness exists in every electorate.

The figures include rough sleepers, couch surfers, people in boarding houses and crisis accommodation, and those in severely crowded homes.

Steep property price increases and a shortage of social housing are the biggest contributors to homelessness, Ms Colvin said, as people are priced out of the rental market.

With the State Government due to reap more than $7 billion in stamp duty this financial year, the council is calling for a multimillion-dollar share to boost social housing.

It says a program to build 3000 dwellings a year for 10 years, half of which would be one- and two-bedroom places, is needed to tackle the city’s homelessness problem.

Financial support for renters to avoid eviction, and more help for youths, including raising the age for leaving state care from 18 to 21, also form part of the council’s election platform.

“This is about underinvestment over at least a decade and not a problem the government could have fixed in one or two years,” Ms Colvin said.

FULL STORY

Young, single, suburban: mapping Melbourne's homelessness problem (The Age)

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Think homelessness is just a city issue? These hotspots show otherwise (ABC News)

Homelessness Heat Map (Council to Homeless Persons)

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