Despite the announcement in mid-November 2020 by the Housing Minister that the Bass Coast would get $25 million in Victoria’s Big House Build, it appears that 12 months on, nothing has happened to increase the social housing stock here.

A reminder of the size of the problem in the Bass Coast: 693 priority access applications for social housing and an existing 381 social housing dwellings at March 2021.

Has the Bass Coast missed the boat in the Big House Build $5.3 billion cash bonanza?

It’s a question I have to ask and one I have a vested interest in. My application is one of those 693 applications. I am facing homelessness right now as my landlord evicts me from my rental property because he wants vacant possession to sell.

I’ve been researching the Big House Build (BHB) for the past few months, and I’m left wondering why the Bass Coast area seems to be missing out despite being a priority LGA and with a guarantee of a minimum $25 million spend? Other LGAs seem to be getting their share.

No properties were purchased in the Bass Coast as part of a funding round for spot purchasing properties in December 2020.

A $740 million funding round was announced earlier this year. ABC News online reported on September 10 that this $740 million will be invested in 89 projects that will build 2300 social houses in areas such as Bendigo, Werribee, Horsham, Ballarat, Tarneit – but not here in Bass Coast.

Another round of funding, $80 million to purchase new homes, house and land packages, and developable land in regional Victoria closed on October 7. I wonder if Bass Coast has any proposals for that round?

A recent edition of this paper reported that the local council had not been approached by developers or landowners with any projects to date. I’ve contacted our local Member with specific questions and was emailed a press release for the October funding round and given the Housing Minister’s email address.

How many more rounds of funding are planned?

What are the people in positions of power with specific responsibility for Bass Coast doing to ensure we get our minimum $25 million spend and we get houses built now and not in years to come?

People’s lives are at stake. Homelessness has a huge impact on people’s mental and physical health, their quality of life, the ability to gain and maintain employment, and their engagement in their community.

The funding for the BHB runs til July 2024. Let’s hope we’re not waiting til 2024 before we see any new social housing delivered in the Bass Coast.

Name and address supplied.