OWNERS of investment residential properties on the Mornington Peninsula are being urged to rent them out.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council meeting will use social media to raise awareness of the housing “crisis”, ask for community input and publicise how people “might assist”.
Ratepayers who own properties in a residential zone other than their primary home, along with real estate agents, will be emailed to ask how they can help, particularly through releasing properties for long-term rental.
A flyer will also be delivered with the 2023 rates notice.
The council is grappling with a rapidly worsening homelessness problem, recently calling on the state government to provide $100 million through its Big Build program, instead of the $7.5 million currently allocated.
The shire is rated the sixth worst Victorian municipality for the number of rough sleepers according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics census, with about 1000 people estimated to be homeless each night.
The mayor Cr Anthony Marsh has accused the state government of “forcing” the council to resort to using camp sites for vulnerable residents by not providing crisis accommodation.
In May, the shire launched a review into a year-long foreshore camping trial, which saw the shire make 12 foreshore camping sites available for temporary crisis accommodation during camping season.
It said there was no plan to have people who are homeless living permanently on the foreshore.
The shire’s community partnerships manager Chris Munro said soaring rents and property values had led to an increase in the number of peninsula residents at serious risk of becoming homeless.
“This includes many elderly residents, as well as women and children fleeing family violence. Most will end up couch surfing or sleeping in their car, but there are some who run out of options and may end up rough sleeping,” he said.
Munro said the foreshore camping ground was a “last resort” option for a small number of people.
The state government was contacted for comment.