Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:28): My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Housing, and I am seeking a meeting between him, me, Housing All Australians and Quest Apartments. With the growing number of families that we are seeing at risk of homelessness as a result of COVID, Housing All Australians, Quest Apartments and the Salvation Army have joined forces to provide temporary accommodation for those at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing it. It has been great seeing Quest Apartments providing the Salvation Army with temporary accommodation at a break-even rate—there is no profit in this. These are the sorts of partnerships that I think we can be proud to endorse and proud to support, pulling together corporates like Quest to offer a safe, supportive place for vulnerable members of our society, and they make a huge difference to people in these tough times.
But I have been speaking to a number of people—and I am sure others have had people call them—who are experiencing homelessness and have been assisted. Many of them have been housed—and gratefully so—in hotels, small motels and backpacker facilities.
Everyone is grateful that they have a roof over their heads, but this is not a home. There are no washing facilities, there are no kitchen facilities, and they are constantly at risk of not knowing how long that place is going to be available for them.
But what we do know is that the Quest and serviced apartments around Victoria are not going to be full anytime soon, so these types of arrangements with service providers like the Salvos, Housing All Australians and corporates like Quest or Oaks can provide that short-term accommodation that people need to get on their feet—for six to 12 months provide services and provide a whole range of things that wrap around and enable people to live a life that has some dignity and some stability.
The action that I am seeking is for the Minister for Housing to join me in a meeting with Housing All Australians, Quest apartments and key representatives as soon as possible to investigate fully how these programs can add to our response. We know that the government is doing a lot of work in trying to provide housing. They are looking at a task force, they are looking at how we can provide stimulus into social housing and build-to-rent et cetera, but this is a pop-up solution that is here right now and will meet the needs of this ever-growing group of people who are experiencing homelessness in Victoria.