Consultation on Melb affordable housing begins

CHIA Vic’s CEO Roberta Buchanan attended the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on Tuesday to speak in support of the council’s draft Affordable Housing Strategy. With the meeting endorsing the draft, a period of public consultation on the draft Affordable Housing Strategy has begun and members are encouraged to take part.

The strategy’s goal is to increase the supply of appropriate and accessible affordable rental housing in the City of Melbourne.

The strategy has identified four priorities:

  1. Advocate for mandatory inclusionary zoning.
  2. Develop affordable rental housing on City of Melbourne land.
  3. Strengthen internal affordable housing processes.
  4. Advocate and partner for affordable housing.

Learn more in the draft strategy overview and have your say in the online survey. You can also attend one of the pop-up feedback sessions or email a written submission.

The consultation closes Sunday 5 April.

Bendigo calls for input into affordable housing

The City of Greater Bendigo is calling for community input into its Affordable Housing Action Plan.

The council wants to better understand affordable housing needs in Greater Bendigo so it can address the growing shortage of affordable housing shortage, including utilising mechanisms to increase the supply of well-designed and efficient affordable housing.

The council has released a paper for public comment.

Click here to read the background paper and provide comment via a short survey.

City of Melbourne supports mandatory inclusionary zoning

CHIA Vic has commended the City of Melbourne  for its call for the introduction of mandatory inclusionary zoning, which would see developers compelled to include social and/or affordable housing in their projects.

The council’s Future Melbourne committee this week endorsed a submission to the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Planning Mechanisms for Affordable Housing that made the case for mandatory inclusionary zoning, at a rate to be determined by modelling, and with a cash-in-lieu option. This option would be complemented by flexibility for local governments to increase the minimum requirement where there was strategic justification and evidence of need.

The submission also called for local governments to be able to provide a voluntary uplift incentive in strategic development areas to encourage developers to include even more social and affordable housing than the level set for the state.

Currently, local governments in Victoria are able to negotiate with developers to include social and affordable housing, but the Affordable Housing Agreements are voluntary.

CHIA Vic CEO Lesley Dredge says making inclusionary zoning mandatory could play a key role in reducing the massive gap between supply and demand for social and affordable housing in Victoria, where the waitlist for social housing as at September this year was sitting at 44,152 households – and growing.


Social housing need 310% higher than thought

If every household in Australia who met the eligibility criteria for social housing decided to apply, waiting lists across the country would increase by more than 310 per cent, according to a discussion paper released by Compass Housing Services.

The paper, Estimating Current and Future Demand for Housing Assistance, used housed income date to estimate the number of households in Australia who meet current eligibility requirements in their state or territory and looked into the likely impact of the expected wave of automation and digital disruption on wages.

It found while there were currently more than 144,000 households on the social housing waiting list, income and asset data suggested an additional 452,000 households were also eligible to apply for housing.

Report author Martin Kennedy said the findings were “deeply concerning” and could cause future headaches for governments already handling a backlog of housing applications.’

Click here to download the report.

Affordable Housing Delivery and Financing Masterclass

At the Affordable Housing Implementation Symposium held in August 2018, the Minister for Planning, Hon Richard Wynne MP, announced an affordable housing capability uplift package to assist stakeholders when negotiating voluntary affordable housing agreements.

As part of this package, DELWP commissioned the Affordable Housing Industry Advisory Group (the AHIAG) to deliver four Affordable Housing Masterclasses between November 2018 and February 2019 to:
· Heighten awareness of the affordable housing reforms and associated voluntary framework.
· Build the capacity of Councils to successfully negotiate voluntary affordable housing agreements.
· Support timely and efficient negotiation of voluntary affordable housing agreements, and the delivery of more affordable housing.
· Support the development of a network of local government professionals with an interest in such agreements.
· Further build DELWP’s understanding of enablers and barriers to affordable housing agreements.

In light of the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from the four previous one-day Masterclasses, DEWLP have commissioned a further two Masterclasses. The one-day Masterclass is being offered on Tuesday, 14 May and Thursday, 6 June 2019 (participants only register to attend one date).

The Masterclass includes presentations by development and not-for-profit representatives. Opportunities for participant discussion, and a comprehensive resource pack to support further learning. It intentionally seeks to enhance stakeholder’s understanding of the cross-industry requirements to invest and support planning negotiated Affordable Housing outcomes.

DELWP Sponsorship
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is offering  a 50%  discount on ticket price to Local Government and Community Housing Organisation participants in the Masterclass.

Staff of these organisations can enter the discount code ‘delwp2019’ when selecting their preferred date option to receive a 50 per cent discount on the Masterclass Fee (tip: click on ‘Enter Promotional Code’ when the pop-up box appears).

Register here.

Email queries to Kate Breen.