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New report reveals how legal services can help fix Victoria’s growing housing crisis

A new report looks at how the legal sector can help tackle the housing stress and insecurity that’s increasingly impacting everyday Victorians.

The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSB+C) engaged leading consumer rights advocate and Chair of the VLSB+C’s independent Consumer Panel Gerard Brody to explore the issue. The resulting report looks at the most pressing housing problems from a legal perspective, and ways to advance housing justice for all Victorians.

The key recommendation is for the VLSB+C to deliver a new housing justice grants round through their grants program to enable the justice and housing sectors to collaborate in service delivery, advocacy or innovation to effect change.

To support this, the VLSB+C will bring together experienced stakeholders to identify and pursue opportunities to support access to housing. These could include housing provider accountability, renter rights, and improving housing support for groups in vulnerable situations.

Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay said the report highlights opportunities to promote innovation and strategic reform.

“We welcome this thought-provoking report that has real potential to deliver solid outcomes for the community. It clearly demonstrates there is opportunity for the justice sector to play a greater role in improving housing justice for Victorians. 

“Our Grants Program has a proven track record for funding innovative solutions and collaborative endeavours. We are excited to explore this further with the sector now Gerard has completed his report,” Ms McLeay said. 

Mr Brody said that through roundtable discussions and collaborative scoping, stakeholders will be well-positioned to increase the effectiveness and reach of statewide housing justice initiatives. 

“This approach will make sure that the VLSB+C Grants Program responds to immediate needs, and supports long-term, strategic improvements across the justice system,” Mr Brody said.

Access Advancing housing justice: The opportunity for legal services to improve access to housing via the VLSB+C website.

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