Community housing industry has shovels at the ready for billion-dollar home building blitz

The impact of the Victorian government’s unprecedented $5.3 billion investment in social housing can’t be overstated, says the Chair of the Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic), Roberta Buchanan.

Ms Buchanan says the ripples of positive change from the government’s investment will reach well beyond the households that will directly benefit from the addition of 12,000 new social or affordable homes over the next four years through healthier, more productive communities.

Community housing organisations are not-for-profits who specialise in providing affordable housing to those priced out of the private market and the sector will be allocated 8,200 of the new social housing properties to own and/or manage across metropolitan and regional Victoria, with 10 per cent targeted at Aboriginal Victorians, who experience severe housing disadvantage.

In September, 48,529 households were on the Victorian Housing Register. Carly Lord was one of the lucky people to receive a call. Carly had been separated from her son and was sleeping on a friend’s couch.

“I’ve never lived in one place for longer than four years so I feel so grateful that I don’t have to worry about having to find somewhere I can afford in Melbourne’s rental market, or change my son’s school. To be able to focus on my career and continue with my studies has been fantastic. I feel so grateful. It’s not just a house, it’s a home. Stability is so important,” Carly says.

CHIA Vic CEO Lesley Dredge says the project represented an exceptional turnaround for the sector and the expectations of those who have not dared dream what their future might hold.

“Our members have projects that can be up and running within six months to make a rapid impact on the shortfall in affordable housing, adding to the Victorian Government’s $500 million investment earlier in the year. In partnership with stakeholders we can make a real difference in people’s lives without any further delay.

“Funding for social housing is an investment in hope, jobs and stability for thousands of Victorians. We want Carly’s story to be a rarity. Everyone needs a key to their own front door to unlock the potential in their lives.”