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Victorian government launches pilot program to improve public housing maintenance

By Zarah Torrazo
10 January 2023 | 10 minute read
colin brooks victorian minister reb gtqlzr

A new program sees the Victorian government place public housing renters first, with the Andrews government rolling out a scheme aiming to improve the quality and delivery of maintenance services to the state’s social housing sector.

Launched across five sites, the Five Local Maintenance Repair Crews program will focus on actively addressing maintenance tasks and repairs across Victoria as the Labor government looks to provide a “more direct and timely way for residents to get the right help when they need it”. 

The job-creating pilot program — initially rolled out in North Melbourne, Flemington, North Richmond, Sale, and Wodonga — will also invite social housing residents to offer ideas and feedback that will shape the program and inform broader improvements to public housing across the state. 

Victorian Minister for Housing Colin Brooks explained: “Residents are at the centre of this program decision making and we’re here to listen and take action on community feedback.” Adding the government’s belief the program will provide renters “the foundation to thrive in our communities”.

In addition to having a bigger hand in creating the program’s final blueprint, public housing residents can apply to become renter liaison officers at each pilot site.  

The role will be recruited through the Social Housing Employment Program (SHEP) — a scheme that helps people living in Victorian social housing get hands-on experience and training they need to participate in the workforce.

Notably, the pilot follows the state’s ongoing initiatives and investments to boost the quality of housing and the health and wellbeing of public housing renters across the state.

As part of Victoria’s $498 million Building Works package — first launched in May 2020 in response to the economic downturn caused by the onset of the pandemic — more than 17,000 public housing homes are being upgraded and improved across the state with new bathrooms, kitchens, roofing, painting and external works.

The government has also invested in a range of cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades through the $112 million Energy Efficiency Social Housing Upgrades program, with the aim of reducing energy costs and carbon emissions while improving the thermal comfort in the public housing sector. 

Aside from upgrading existing social homes, the government has also launched its landmark $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, which looks to deliver 12,000 new homes for Victorians who are in need of housing support, while creating thousands of jobs to prop up the state’s economy. 

Victorian government launches pilot program to improve public housing maintenance
colin brooks victorian minister reb gtqlzr
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