Wellington Shire Council will write to the state Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos in support of a plea for more funding to support neighbourhood houses.
The shire has 11 neighbourhood houses, most funded for about 20 hours week, but which provide more than double that in unfunded hours of advocacy, welfare support, social inclusion and education.
Addressing last week’s council meeting, Rosedale Neighbourhood house spokesperson Glenys McBride said Rosedale Neighbourhood House was left with $7000 in it’s budget after rent and other expenses were paid, and relied heavily on council grants and the goodwill of volunteers and staff to provide the many activities and services, including employment pathways, family violence support and children’s services.
Heather Shaw said neighbourhood houses operated on small budgets, but delivered large savings and services to their communities, despite no funding increases since 2014.
Deputy mayor Ian Bye moved a motion to support Neighbourhood Houses Victoria’s 2018 election campaign for increased funding.
The council will now write to the minister’s office, calling on the government to deliver on the 2014 Labor election commitment to support neighbourhood houses, and recognise the breadth of community issues they helped address.
Cr Bye said neighbourhood houses provided invaluable support to their communities.
After the meeting, Ms Shaw said the council’s support was “fantastic”, and could help them achieve their goal of funding for 38 hours a week.