Vic Gov Pulls Pin on InfoXchange Housing Website Funds
2 July 2007 at 1:17 pm
The Victorian Government has pulled the pin on annual funding for Infoxchange’s Community Housing Online website and despite protests from within the Not for Profit sector, the site was due to shut down on June 30th.
Infoxchange’s founder and Executive Director, Andrew Maher says the website is a valuable service which has been gathering and disseminating information about community housing in Victoria since 1996.
Maher says housing information is delivered to 40,000 people each week and some 19,000 people visited the Community Housing website in May. As well the service has an online library of 1700 publications and some 5000 listings of services relating to housing.
Maher says despite these figures, the Office of Housing’s reasoning for ending the annual funding of around $250,000 was that it couldn’t see the value in it.
A spokesperson for the Minister of Housing says the Government has been funding Community Housing Online since it was established. Since then, access to computers, the Internet and email has become much more affordable and there are a number of other information sources available for homelessness assistance providers.
The spokesperson says the $250,000 per annum will be redirected back into homelessness support.
Andrew Maher says the government has lost sight of the fact that this is a community sector service, not an information arm of the state government.
He says Infoxchange has a number of other online services that will continue unaffected by the withdrawal of funds.
However he says the Community Housing Online Service should be maintained whether by Infoxchange or another organisation because it is aimed at the most marginalised people in the community.
Maher has called on the government to urgently carry out a review of the online service.
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