By Victoria Stone-Meadows
Tenancy and consumer help services in the south-east have received a State Government funding boost which will see services in Cranbourne, Pakenham and Dandenong strengthened.
More than $18 million over four years will be invested by the Andrews Government in the delivery of local assistance and advocacy services across the state.
As part of the funding, $11.4 million will be shared among 13 community agencies including the Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC).
The PCLC advocates and provides advice for tenants across the south-east and bayside regions of Melbourne.
We provide information, advice, casework and representation services to private tenants,” PCLC Jackie Galloway said.
“Often we see tenants with issues with notices to vacate, repairs, rent, bonds, and many other matters.”
Ms Galloway said this funding from the State Government would allow the PCLC to provide timely and much-needed advice to tenants in the area.
“With increasing rents it makes it very difficult for those on low incomes to find affordable and appropriate rental properties,” she said.
“We welcome the increase in resources to the region with will enable us to enhance our advocacy services to tenants.”
According to Mission Australia, 15 per cent of homeless people seek help because of financial difficulties and 12 per cent are in housing crisis.
They also state 10 per cent of people who are homeless have been living in inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions and a shortage of affordable housing and declining home ownership rates also contributes to the nation’s homelessness problem.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gambling and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz said the funding to community housing service providers would protect vulnerable members of the community.
“These community organisations will assist and advocate on behalf of our most vulnerable renters and consumers.”
“It isn’t always easy understanding your rights as a tenant or a consumer, so it’s vital Victorians get help and advice where and when they need it.”