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Historic Melbourne grandstand turned into a tent city as the housing crisis worsens

A heritage listed grandstand at one of Melbourne’s iconic inner suburban football grounds has become home to a slew of rough sleepers this winter.

The Herald Sun today revealed that as many as 25 people are sleeping in the 131-year-old Brunswick Street Oval grandstand, as the city’s housing crisis worsens.

The entire back row of the Fitzroy grandstand is now regularly filled with tents.

Major Brendan Nottle, from the Salvation Army, says the growing number of homeless people seeking shelter in the grandstand are indicative of a broader housing crisis.

“It’s a huge issue at the moment,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

In Melbourne, just two per cent of rental properties are currently vacant, and in regional areas the situation is worse.

“This is actually a housing crisis, not just for people who are rough sleeping, but the general population,” Major Nottle said.

But the tents are not a suitable long term accommodation solution.

“I think we’ve got to understand that it is not an option,” Major Nottle said.

“There are some charities that actually go around and hand out tents, and that’s something that we would not recommend.”

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