Spend on local social housing announced

September 21, 2021 BY

Geelong MP Christine Couzens (left) and South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman have welcomed the spending on more social housing in the Geelong region. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

ABOUT $27 million will be spent on social housing in the Geelong region with the first allocation of funds to projects in the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build.

Announced last week, the works will deliver 85 new homes across nine projects.

The investment includes $12.4 million for 41 homes in Mount Duneed delivered in partnership with Women’s Housing Limited and $6.8 million for 26 homes in Belmont delivered in partnership with Housing Choices Australia.

The other projects include:

  • Aboriginal Housing Victoria building two homes in Grovedale
  • Common Equity Housing Ltd building two separate projects of two and six homes each in Grovedale, two in Geelong West, two in Hamlyn Heights, two in Newcomb and two in Norlane, and
  • Women’s Housing Limited building 12 homes in Winchelsea.

The homes will be made available to those in the most need of housing including people living with mental illness or disability, people escaping family violence, Victoria’s First Peoples and individuals experiencing homelessness.

The projects are part of almost $740 million the Victorian Government is investing in 89 community housing projects across regional and metropolitan areas.

The Big Housing Build is allocating $1.25 billion in regional areas to spread the program’s economic and social benefits across the state.

At least $180 million will be invested in the City of Greater Geelong, and $20 million in the Surf Coast Shire.

“The government is committed to providing housing to meet the demand in the Geelong community,” Geelong MP Christine Couzens said.

“This big build will also provide jobs that will help stimulate the local economy.”

South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman said the local Big Housing Build projects would stimulate Geelong’s economy while providing the stability and security of a home for those in the community that needed it most.

“These projects will create jobs right here in our local community – with construction expected to be under way this year,” he said.

G21 chief executive officer Giulia Baggio said the investment was a great first step.

“We urgently need subsidised housing to help house the increasing number of people who can’t afford skyrocketing rents in our overheated private rental market,” she said.

“In some cases, people are paying almost half of their income to rent a home, which leaves very little for other daily essentials.

“Community-based providers are highly regulated, not-for-profit property developers who build social housing and also ensure that people renting these homes receive support.

“This funding announcement will deliver safe and secure accommodation for several hundred people, and provide construction jobs.”

G21 says it has been working with independent living provider Sirovilla, G21’s five member councils and the state government over the past year to identify the need for more social housing across the region, and their analysis of Census data found about 6,000 new properties were needed just to meet existing demand.

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