In the face of a major social and affordable housing crisis in Victoria, property and development industry and community housing sector players have joined forces to call on the Victorian government to develop and roll out a 10-year Social and Affordable Housing Industry Plan and investment package.
The Affordable Housing Industry Advisory Group (the Advisory Group), consisting of peak housing industry bodies, residential development companies, community housing providers and lenders, agree that a plan for investment that is co-designed by industry with government will maximise the social and economic benefits for Victorians and support the transition to a sustainable and scalable Social and Affordable Housing industry.
Nicola Foxworthy, chair of the Affordable Housing Industry Advisory Group, said by co-designing a plan with industry experts, they expect a government plan would be well positioned to attract new private investment, get new housing on the ground and maximise the public return on investment.
“The Coronavirus crisis presents us with an opportunity to embed new ways of partnering and investing that overcome traditional barriers and deliver real social and economic returns.
“A well-designed and implemented Social and Affordable Housing Industry Plan will support immediate housing stimulus, drive economic activity and jobs, deliver critical housing with corresponding social benefits, and support the transition to a sustainable social and affordable housing industry in Victoria.”
It is estimated Victoria requires at least 6,000 new social housing dwellings to be built each year for the next 10 years if Victoria is to match the national average of 4.5 per cent of all households in social housing.
This requires bold action and major investment by all levels of government, for every $1 invested in social and affordable housing, the community reaps the benefit of $3 of economic value.
The Advisory Group is proposing to work with government to design and implement a 10-year industry plan, underpinned by government investment and new dwelling targets, that promotes industry collaboration, innovation and maximises return on government investment. A well designed, long-term strategy can position Victoria to attract large-scale private investment, including from superannuation funds; support new forms of affordable housing; and deliver more housing for people in need.
Investment in social and affordable Housing is proven to deliver short term economic stimulus and long-term economic and social outcomes.
A focus on delivering new housing in established areas and government priority precincts will also deliver on a wider range of government objectives.
With governments at all levels exploring opportunities to stimulate economic activity, the Advisory Group is keen to support the state government to build on its existing commitments to Social Housing renewal and renovations, and its good work in temporarily housing people that were homeless at the start of the crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of safe, secure and affordable homes to maintain a healthy society and the need for concerted and coordinated action.