A new report is urging immediate action to prevent a spike in regional rents, a deterioration in housing affordability and increased homelessness ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
The report has been produced by the eight-member Victorian Housing Peaks Alliance, of which VCOSS is a member.
The Alliance is proposing a raft of pre-emptive measures, including action to:
- bolster crisis accommodation,
- curb regional rent increases and
- stop a rush of rentals being listed on Airbnb instead.
It’s also urging the Victorian Government to vow not to “move on” visible homelessness from around Games sites, and to earmark at least 30% of athletes’ villages to become social housing after the Games.
Attributable to VCOSS CEO Emma King:
Big sporting events have been known to drive up rents, make housing less affordable and exacerbate homelessness.
The good news is the Victorian Commonwealth Games are still years away.
Victoria has time to sidestep a series of damaging unintended consequences in the leadup to the Commonwealth Games.
With careful planning, Victoria can host a world-best Games without making homelessness and housing affordability worse, and leave a positive and enduring Games legacy.
Housing is not a game.
As Victoria plans new and upgraded Games infrastructure, housing must be front of mind.
Victoria needs to design a system of rent controls for regional areas and create more short-term crisis housing to protect regional communities before and during the Games.
At least a third of the housing build for athletes should be converted into social housing down the track.
If we get this right, Victoria hosts a wonderful Games, local communities are protected and we end up with more social housing.
But if we get it wrong, Victoria is looking at an utterly avoidable human catastrophe.
VCOSS is the peak body for Victoria’s social and community sector, and the state’s premier social advocacy body.
We work towards a Victoria free from poverty and disadvantage, where every person and community experiences genuine wellbeing. Read more.
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VCOSS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country. We pay respect to Elders both past and present, and to emerging leaders. Our offices are located on the sovereign, unceded land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.