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A Future Focussed Housing Standard - a VCOSS publication.

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The risk that more than double the number of vulnerable Victorians will die as a result of heatwaves caused by climate change has led VCOSS to call for urgent action to implement minimum rental housing standards. “Climate change is already having impacts on low income and vulnerable Victorians. Just before the tragic Black Saturday fires we had a massive heatwave in Victoria that contributed to at least 374 deaths. Poor housing is a health risk in heatwaves and we know that the lowest income and most vulnerable Victorians live in poor quality rental housing,” said Cath Smith, CEO.

The Report A Future Focused Housing Standard being launched today highlights just how far Victoria is from international best practice on housing standards and the practical steps that can be taken to protect vulnerable renters from the impacts of climate change. The report quotes Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment figures that show that heatwave related deaths are likely to rise from 582 per year at present to 604 a year by 2020 and up to 1,318 per year by 2050. “While the CPRS legislation is about to be debated federally, the Victorian Government has a significant role to play in co-ordinating and leading action in the state most at risk from the negative effects of climate change.

Legislating for minimum rental housing standards is a practical way of reducing the carbon intensity of the worst quality housing stock and saving lower income Victorians from the impacts of higher utility bills,” Cath Smith said.

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) is the peak organisation of the non-government social and community services sector. VCOSS raises awareness of the existence, causes and effects of poverty and inequality, and contributes to initiatives seeking to create a more just society.

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