Victoria’s peak body for community housing has welcomed the State Government’s housing reforms but says they must be carefully designed to deliver social and affordable homes for those who need them most.
Under the Andrews Government’s Housing Statement, more social and affordable homes could be built on surplus government land, in some new residential developments, and by redeveloping existing high-rise social housing towers.
Community Housing Industry Association Victoria acting CEO Jess Pomeroy said the reforms have the potential to ease the rental crisis if developer contributions build rentals that stay affordable in perpetuity.
“We welcome the government’s vision to build more social and affordable homes across Victoria. There’s no doubt a significant uplift in social housing in the right locations for the people who need it most is the key solution to ending rental stress and homelessness,” Ms Pomeroy said.
“The Victorian Government’s housing reforms provide the foundation and potential to ease the housing crisis and change the lives of Victorians for generations but the extent of this impact lies in the detail.
“We need to make sure any affordable homes built as part of new residential developments stay affordable in perpetuity. We need the regulated community housing sector, as experts in affordable build-to-rent homes, to look after all new affordable housing to ensure best-practice in ongoing management, and that any profits are reinvested back into the system for Victorians who need it.
“Unfortunately this comprehensive suite of reforms misses the opportunity to deliver a mandatory inclusionary zoning scheme. Mandatory inclusionary zoning would ensure that as our city grows, social and affordable housing stock grows with it. A voluntary system gives no certainty and means it’s now up to the government to make sure it leads to a decent uplift in social housing and real affordable outcomes for low-income Victorians.
“Our mission-driven sector stands ready to work with the government to ensure these reforms deliver to their full potential. Ultimately, Victoria needs to be building thousands of social homes every year - a failure to do so will come at a great cost to Victorians and the economy.”
Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301