WANGARATTA’S neighbourhood houses have added their weight to a push for more State Government funding in the 2018-’19 budget.
Loretta Waters, manager of Burke Street’s Open Door Neighbourhood House, said funding for the sector was well out of step with indexation, and a statewide campaign to raise awareness of the need for an increase was under way.
The Neighbourhood Houses Victoria campaign is asking the State Government for increases to its neighbourhood house coordination program funding ($52.23 million over four years), to the number of government-funded neighbourhood houses ($17.221m over four years), and to support for Neighbourhood House Networks ($2.4m over four years).
Ms Waters said, as well as coordinator funding being well below what was required to operate neighbourhood houses effectively, support for the networker role needed revision.
“Places like ours, in Upper Hume, have fewer neighbourhood houses over larger areas, while some parts of Melbourne may have 20 houses in a 5km radius,” she said.