The Big Housing Build and the community housing sector

Social Housing Regulation Review

Victoria’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build is Australia’s largest-ever investment in social and affordable housing.

This landmark investment will deliver more than 12,000 new homes and around 10,000 jobs per year over the next four years, boosting our state’s social housing supply by 10 per cent.

Homes Victoria, the authority established by the Victorian Government to deliver the Big Housing Build, is working in partnership with the Victorian community housing sector to deliver the majority of homes.

Community housing organisations will develop 4,200 of the new social housing homes and manage 4,000 more that will be built on government land or be spot purchased by the Government.

Ten per cent will be targeted to Aboriginal renters; 2,000 will go to renters with a mental illness; 1,000 will be targeted to victim-survivors of family violence; and 25 per cent will be located in regional Victoria.

CHIA Victoria is the community housing sector’s peak body and is working closely with Homes Victoria to deliver new homes for Victorian renters.

As the Big Housing Build rolls out, the Victorian Government will use its Social Housing Growth Fund (SHGF) to finance the development of more social and affordable community housing developments. Successful projects will be delivered and run by community housing organisations.

Big Housing Build Rapid Round: Key facts and figures about this announcement

  • The partnership between Government and Community Housing Organisations will deliver more than $1 billion of new housing.
  • Homes Victoria is investing almost $739 million with 22 Community Housing Organisations contributing a combined $271 million towards these developments
  • This partnership – this joining together to meet a common need – will deliver at least 2,300 new homes across 38 metropolitan and regional Local Government Areas.
  • These projects will create a minimum of 9,000 jobs. That’s 2,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs for people throughout Victoria.
Total number of projects


89 projects
Total number of homes being delivered


2,352 homes
Total amount contributed by community housing organisations


$271 million
Total amount of grants being issued


$738.8 million
Total project cost


$1.010 billion
Total number of jobs stimulated by these works Over 9,000 jobs


What is community housing?

Community housing is delivered by not-for-profit housing organisations that provide affordable rental housing to low-income Victorian households.

There are currently over 20,000 community housing units in Victoria, providing homes for people with a range of needs that are not met by the private rental market, including people with disabilities and women and children escaping family violence.

In Victoria, there are 39 registered community housing organisations all with the industry expertise and commitment to deliver safe, secure and affordable homes to renters.

The majority of community housing units offer long-term rental housing to eligible renters. However, the community housing sector also provides a range of short, medium and long-term housing programs that offer different types of housing.

These include:

  • crisis and transitional housing programs to assist people to get back on their feet;
  • rooming houses, which are often the only option available to single people; and,
  • co-operative housing, which gives tenants a direct role in managing their community housing organisation.

Community housing is offered by a diverse range of organisations; from small rooming house providers to large organisations developing new properties across multiple states. They all share a commitment to increasing the supply of high-quality, safe, secure and affordable rental homes.

The story of community housing

Community housing began as a response to inner city gentrification in the 1970s, when residents of suburbs like St Kilda and Collingwood worked together to ensure residents of rooming houses were not left homeless following the sale of the properties they lived in.

Through grassroots investment led by teachers, doctors, and social workers, communities established housing co-operatives, accommodation and services for women fleeing violence, projects led by local churches and many more. The support on offer was about more than just a roof over your head. Local groups offered support for those who needed it.

Rental market facts

Data from CoreLogic shows the median weekly rent for Melbourne for June is $444 per week, down by 1.4 per cent on the previous 12 months. However, this is still beyond the reach of low-income Victorians.

In regional Victoria, data from the Victorian Government for the March Quarter shows the median weekly rent is $350 a week, up by 6.1 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Additionally, Anglicare’s 2021 Rental Affordability Snapshot shows that of 33,710 rental properties listed in Victoria on 27 March 2021, just 53 were affordable for a couple with two children earning JobSeeker. For single people earning income support or a pension, there were very few affordable properties available.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, rental vacancy rates remain very low at 6.1 per cent for metropolitan areas and just 1.2 per cent in regional areas for June 2021.

As of March this year, there are around 51,000 households on the Victorian Housing Register, with 27,500 of those listed for priority access to a home.

More information about the Big Housing Build

More information about the community housing sector

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