Neighbourhood Houses On Brink of Extinction

February 23, 2024 9:12 am in by
Credit: Tom Merton via Getty Images.

Neighbourhood Houses are under financial pressure and may be forced to cut back services if they do not receive a funding boost, warns Wendy Lovell, State Member for Northern Victoria.

There are over 400 Neighbourhood Houses in Victoria who deliver vital services across the state, especially in the regions.

Neighbourhood Houses provide toy libraries and book swaps, English classes and internet
access, Men’s Sheds and childcare, community gardens and communal lunches, arts and
crafts, and food banks.

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These services are delivered by 5,500 staff, and almost 7,000 dedicated volunteers, who
receive 10 million visits a year and give out 2,000 tons of food relief.

For a service that already runs on a shoe-string budget, cost increases and a shortfall of
funding seriously threaten the long-term sustainability of the program.

Indexed funding increases for Neighbourhood Houses are not keeping pace with real
inflation, and without urgent support the food banks will soon have to start turning people

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria has appealed for additional funding of $2.5 million to be
shared across the network, and Lovell spoke in parliament to fully support this request.

Lovell says, “Neighbourhood Houses provide invaluable benefit to the community, and the government must do what is necessary to ensure these Houses remain sustainable into the future.

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“The Minister must commit to delivering the requested $2.5 million for Neighbourhood