Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

12 Social Housing units in Shepparton

Shepparton residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will benefit from a new social housing development opened today, supported by more than $2.8 million from the Australian Government.

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib today welcomed the opening of the Purcell Street project in Shepparton, funded under the Social Housing Initiative, which will offer safe and secure homes for local people in need.

“This development will provide a stable home for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Shepparton community,” Senator Arbib said.

“The newly completed facility includes 12 two-bedroom units with a six-star energy rating, with energy efficiency inclusions to assist tenants to save money in energy bills.

“All of the units incorporate universal design principles and three apartments are Class C Adaptable which means they are easily modified for tenants with a disability.

“I would like to thank Rural Housing Network Limited for its involvement and management of the project.

“With more than 20 years experience in providing critical services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness Rural Housing Network Limited is well placed to understand the needs of disadvantaged people.”

Senator Arbib said the Australian Government’s $5.6 billion investment under the Social Housing Initiative represents the single largest investment in social housing ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

“The Social Housing Initiative, delivered under the Government’s stimulus package, is designed to assist low income Australians who are homeless or struggling in the private rental market,” Senator Arbib said.

“Under the Initiative, around 19,600 homes are being constructed across the nation and will be completed by June 2012 – more than 15,700 of these have already been completed.

“In Victoria, we have delivered over 3,480 of more than 4,600 new homes we committed to deliver under the Social Housing Initiative, and all repairs and maintenance have now been completed to over 9,300 homes across the state.

“Through the Initiative, the Australian Government has supported more than 15,000 jobs nationally, and helped shield Australia from the recession that hit most other economies.”