City set for more social housing

September 18, 2021 BY

Starting soon: This plot of land in Delacombe will soon be the site of 14 one and two-bedroom townhouses as part of rollout of new social housing. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

SOCIAL housing providers in Ballarat are about to experience a mini boom following the release of funds for local projects from the State Government’s Big Housing Build program.

More than $20 million will be spent on 89 new homes across the region with five different providers under a public private partnership model.

The new homes will go to people on the Victorian housing register with Centacare set to build 25 of the new dwellings.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have accommodation today and we’re taking the most difficult cases,” said Neil Jens, Centacare Housing board chair.

“If you fall out with the real estate community, as in you can’t get a good referral, you can’t get a house.

“So you’ll end up sleeping on someone’s couch or taking up some sort of semi-accommodation, some sort of boarding house, if you can afford it.

“This initiative is going to go along way to solving, and taking the worst, most difficult cases… off the list.”

Centacare’s new homes will be built over two locations in Delacombe, other sites run by other providers include 32 homes in Canadian, 16 in Redan, 12 in Mount Pleasant and four in Brown Hill.

Member for Buninyong, Michaela Settle, has been an advocate for increased social and public housing having recently co-sponsored a report on the issue.

“The Big Build investment across Victoria is going to increase our housing stock by 10 per cent,” she said.

“We’re always going to need to do more and sadly the pressures on housing affordability are great. So we will have to continue to invest. But a 10 per cent increase in stock is a pretty marked investment.”

On whether the local and statewide announcements were enough to deal with the shortfall in public hosing stock, Ms Settle said there was always more that could be done.

“Across regional and metropolitan Victoria there are issues with housing affordability, and we’re going to have to tackle that in many different ways,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s about public housing and sometimes it’s going to be about partnering with both councils and local community groups.”

Money for the works is coming from a statewide pool of $1 billion as part of the overall $5.3 billion Big Housing Build fund announced in November last year.

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