Jess Pomeroy, acting CEO CHIA Vic
With the state election on the horizon CHIA Vic has been advocating for funding to continue flowing beyond the Big Housing Build to support community housing organisations to build the social and affordable housing that Victorians so desperately need. Last month we launched our State Election Platform which outlines five key asks which could transform the social housing landscape, and have been sharing them with politicians, bureaucrats and members.
We’ve requested – and taken – meetings with relevant figures in the Victorian Government and broader Parliament, calling for them to commit to our policies ahead of the November Election. Our CEO also spoke at the Planning Institute of Australia’s “Election 2022: What Planners Need Now – Funding Essential Housing” forum, calling on powers to be given to councils to require social and affordable housing contributions when issuing planning permits. You can watch a recording of the forum here.
Our CEO, also spoke with the ABC about CHIA Vic’s call for a $6 billion Social Housing Investment Fund that would deliver over 20,000 new dwellings over 10 years. Just this alone would deliver a third of the dwellings needed to get Victoria’s proportion of social housing back up to the national average.
The election provides our sector with a great opportunity to showcase the great work we do, and to talk about the value and impact that having a stable, secure and affordable home creates for our renters. CHIA Vic is keen to share member projects and activities that tell this story and would encourage you to get in touch if you have something we could feature in our social media channels.
You can read more about the Social Housing Investment Fund and our policy on Planning for Inclusive Communities in our Election Platform, and we need your help to get these messages out ahead of the State Election by sharing our platform widely along with the hashtag #beyondthebighousingbuild
An issue which has been rising in prominence of the past several years is the severe lack of affordable housing in regional Victoria. On Tuesday, 4 Oct, CHIA Vic and many member organisations attended the Regional Affordable Housing Summit, hosted by Homes Victoria, joining with colleagues and representatives from local government, ACCO and other development sectors discuss ways to deliver more affordable housing for regional Victorians. One obvious opportunity is the housing to be delivered for the 2026 Commonwealth Games athlete villages. CHIA Vic spoke to media earlier this week about the need to design these villages in a way that will support local housing need in the four regional communities following the Games, and is calling for Government to use these sites to demonstrate how mixed-tenure developments can work in a regional setting.
The summit also brought an announcement of the outcomes of the Regional Round, with Minister Danny Pearson joining colleagues to announce 46 successful projects which will deliver 683 homes across regional Victoria. The full details can be found in the media release, and CHIA Vic will be working closely with Homes Vic and the sector to confirm the communications strategy for these projects as we go into caretaker and the election period.
The Productivity Commission last week released its report on the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. Among other things the report highlighted the inadequacy of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and recommended that governments should focus their efforts on programs and policies that assist people at risk of homelessness rather than on first homebuyer grants. The report looks likely to prompt discussions about solutions that were previously off the table, including changes to CRA, the opportunity to transition from stamp duty to property tax, and a call for governments to set targets for new housing supply.