The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has officially released our Housing Taskforce Report containing 36 policy recommendations to tackle our housing crisis.
The findings from the Taskforce will assist industry and governments to build the competitiveness of our economy through improving housing stock and affordability.
It is a product of 18-month's work including six online roundtables, 11 regional visits, many one-on-one meetings with engaged stakeholders and dedicated surveys to ascertain gaps in housing supply and demand.
The policy recommendations sit under seven key themes:
- Planning: the planning system should be the centrepiece of housing reforms.
- Local Government: Local Government efficiency needs revitalising.
- Tax: The tax system needs to be reformed.
- Rentals: More build-to-rent housing is a necessity.
- Supporting infrastructure: Supporting infrastructure must be prioritised.
- Innovation: Innovation will help solve the housing crisis.
- Regional Victoria: Regional Victoria requires a dedicated planning strategy.
The Chamber’s top recommendations are:
- Establish a state-wide Victorian Housing Plan that details the design, quantity, location, and type of housing required across Victoria, as well as the investment required, to prevent future housing crises.
- Establish a central planning agency that is responsible for ensuring fast, consistent approvals to speed up housing approvals and increase transparency and accountability of planning decisions.
- Establish a permit process assistance service, equipped with advisers to discuss the process, initial feasibility and constraints and components of successful applications with applicants for housing approvals to speed up approval processes and maximise the success rate of applications lodged.
- Encompass and enforce stringent timelines for planning approvals within statutory requirements to ensure faster planning processes and increased accountability.
- Reform Victoria’s planning and environment legislation and framework to make Victoria’s regulatory settings appropriate for modern housing and infrastructure demands.
- Increase urban density, especially in areas that are well-serviced by transportation infrastructure, to limit urban sprawl.
- Incentivise the wide uptake of innovative construction technologies and methods (e.g. prefabs, timber cassettes, 3D printing) by fast tracking the approval of housing builds that use these methods to deliver new housing stock quickly.
- Develop a dedicated planning strategy for Regional Victoria, which includes medium-density housing, to ensure housing and supporting infrastructure meet regional population demands.
The Victorian Chamber would like to thank our Housing Taskforce Advisory Board for their dedication and contributions: Co-Chairs Jeremy Blackshaw –Managing Partner - Corporate and Capital Markets, Minter Ellison and Aneetha De Silva – Managing Director, Government, Aurecon, and our Advisory Board: Kevin Brown – Business adviser; Nerida Kerr – Executive officer at AgBiz Assist; Rob Hudson – Victorian State Manager at National Affordable Housing; and David Allington – General Manager, Communities, Victoria at Stockland.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“Although the Australian housing crisis has been consistently in the headlines over recent weeks, it has been bubbling away for years. We recognised that this issue was a threat to our most basic need to appropriate accommodation, and we have focused on this area for some time.
“Whether you are wanting to buy or rent, access to good quality housing at every price point is fundamental to wellbeing. Worker shortages and housing shortages go hand in hand – you can’t have a business without people, and you can’t have people without housing. It’s clear something must change to enable choice at all levels, speed to increase supply, and acceleration of approvals to remove bottlenecks.
“This is not just a government issue or responsibility. The public and private sectors must come together to examine existing and emerging problems and find innovative, simple and bold solutions that will have tangible and meaningful outcomes.
“After extensive consultation with members, the Victorian Chamber has established 36 recommendations that provide solutions to help ease the Housing crisis.”
Mikkayla Mossop, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0423 883 945