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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

New Social Housing Facility Opens in Wendouree

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Catherine King MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and Member for Ballarat

People at risk of homelessness in the Ballarat region will benefit from a new social housing development built with $3.9 million in funding from the Australian Government. 

Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King today attended the opening of the six-star energy rated social housing development at Wendouree.

Ms King said this new development would allow local youth to find a stable place to live and stay connected with the Wendouree community.

“This building will accommodate homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 16 to 25 who are committed to work or study,” Ms King said.

“Communal training and office space have also been incorporated into the site, which is staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week by a consortium of local agencies, led by Uniting Care Ballarat. 

“The facility is based on the successful British ‘Foyer’ model, which supports young people with early intervention services to prevent long-term adult homelessness.

“We know that homelessness is about more than just putting a roof over people’s head. We also need to provide the services which help them reconnect with the community.

“I would like to thank the service provider, UnitingCare Ballarat, for its involvement in this project and its ongoing commitment to this area.”

The project was funded from the Australian Government’s Social Housing Initiative, with support services funding of over $800,000 per year provided under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

Federal Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib said the $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative was 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, more than 19,300 homes are being constructed across the nation and more than 12,400 have already been completed.

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

“I strongly support services that not only provide stable accommodation to young people but also provides them with the support they need to study or move into employment – they both go hand in hand.”