Social housing (10.06.2014)

Written on the 10 June 2014

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is to the Minister for Housing, Ms Lovell. Can the minister update the house on any recent investments that will assist vulnerable elderly Victorians to access social housing?


Hon. W. A. LOVELL (Minister for Housing) -- I thank the member for her question and her ongoing interest in vulnerable Victorians who need government assistance to provide them with housing. The Napthine government is committed to ensuring that our most vulnerable elderly Victorians have access to social housing. Last week I was very pleased to announce a grant of $2.3 million to provide community housing for elderly people in South Melbourne. This funding will ensure that the 31 one-bedroom units in Emerald Street, South Melbourne, known as the Rathronan flats, which currently provide accommodation for elderly people, will remain available for vulnerable Victorians into the future. The building's current owner had planned to sell the property, which could have led to the eviction of the elderly tenants who have lived there for a number of years.

The government's $2.3 million investment was made available through a grant to help the South Port Community Housing Group, a local not-for-profit housing agency, which contributed the remaining $2.7 million to purchase the property. South Port Community Housing will own, maintain and manage the property, and we have worked very closely with South Port Community Housing to make this happen. The outcome demonstrates what can be achieved when the state government works with the community sector to accomplish positive housing outcomes.

I would also like to acknowledge members for Southern Metropolitan Region Georgie Crozier and Andrea Coote, as well as the Liberal candidate for the Assembly seat of Albert Park, Shannon Eeles, for their tireless efforts advocating for the future of the Emerald Street housing. This investment aligns with the objectives of the coalition government's $1.3 billion social housing framework by enhancing the role of community housing and is another way the Napthine government is assisting the most vulnerable Victorians.

I know that Ms Crozier, together with the Liberal candidate for Albert Park, had the pleasure of going down to the Rathronan flats last Friday to talk to the residents and advise them that they will be able to stay in their homes, and the residents were absolutely delighted. They were delighted with the representation they had from their members of Parliament and from their coalition candidate, Shannon Eeles, and with the support given to them from the Victorian government.

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