The Victorian government has launched a program that prioritises public housing renters by improving the quality and delivery of maintenance services in the state’s social housing sector.

The Five Local Maintenance Repair Crews program, which will be launched in five sites, aims to address maintenance tasks and repairs more efficiently and directly.

The pilot program, which will be implemented in North Melbourne, Flemington, North Richmond, Sale, and Wodonga, will also invite social housing residents to provide feedback to shape the program and improve public housing across the state.

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Colin Brooks, the Victorian Minister for Housing, has said that the government is “here to listen and take action on community feedback” from public housing residents.

The program, which will involve residents in the decision-making process, is intended to give renters “the foundation to thrive in our communities”. Public housing residents can also apply to become renter liaison officers at each pilot site.

The role of renter liaison officer will be filled through the Social Housing Employment Program (SHEP), which provides hands-on experience and training to people living in Victorian social housing.

This pilot program is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of housing and the health and wellbeing of public housing renters.

Victoria’s $498 million Building Works package is upgrading and improving over 17,000 public housing homes across the state with new bathrooms, kitchens, roofing, painting, and external work. This initiative was first launched in May 2020 in response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government is investing in energy efficiency for public housing through a $112 million program, with the goal of lowering energy costs and carbon emissions while also improving thermal comfort for residents.

The Victorian government is launching the Big Housing Build, a program that will create 12,000 new homes for those in need of housing support and generate thousands of jobs. This $5.3 billion initiative is part of the government’s efforts to improve housing and support the economy in the state.

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