Focus on housing/rental/reform trajectory

Focus on housing/rental/reform trajectory

We know there is no more important issue anywhere in the state right now than housing. 

Whether it’s housing supply, first homebuyer affordability, social housing or renters’ rights – the housing system needs reform. We’re working hard on the package and will have more to say in due course.

We know that increasing housing supply is a critical part of improving housing affordability.  

The Andrews Labor Government stands for more social and affordable housing with $5.3 billion invested in the Big Housing Build – the biggest single investment in social and affordable housing of any state and territory. The Big Housing Build will deliver more than 12,000 homes.  

Currently, more than 7600 social and affordable housing homes are being built across the state. More than 2800 are completed – with thousands of Victorians who needed them already moved in. In addition to the Big Housing Build, there are thousands of homes being delivered across the state through other capital programs. As part of the Big Housing Build, we will secure 2000 homes for Victorians who have a mental illness, 1000 homes to provide safety and security for survivors of family violence, and 10 per cent of new dwellings will support Aboriginal Victorians to have culturally safe, self-determined housing options.  

We also recently announced the provision of a $1 billion Regional Housing Fund to deliver more than 1300 new social and affordable homes across regional Victoria.
We know the need is great and urgent – which is why Homes Victoria is employing multiple approaches to boosting the supply of social and affordable homes throughout the state.  

For instance, Homes Victoria is delivering the Affordable Housing Rental Scheme – which is set to deliver around 2400 affordable rental homes to address affordability pressures in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Under the Affordable Housing Rental Scheme, fixed-term rental agreements of three years will be available to low to moderate income households in metro Melbourne and regional Victoria who meet income eligibility criteria.  

Our housing projects provide housing on a continuum from delivering a Housing First approach for people experiencing homelessness, to stable and secure housing for low-income Victorians, right through to affordable housing options for low to moderate income Victorians including essential workers. This is important because we know that vacancy rates in Melbourne and regional Victoria are very low. We know that housing affordability is at a critical point. These are significant investments that are transforming people’s lives and are making a very real difference.  

We have also delivered more than 130 rental reforms – the biggest change to the Residential Tenancies Act in more than two decades. 

Under our reforms, rent can only be increased once every 12 months. Our reforms also introduced rental minimum standards that will provide safer, more energy efficient housing for renters. We know there is more work to be done to ensure the property and rental markets are working effectively for both renters and rental providers.  

Those on the other side continue to block the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, preventing social and affordable homes from being built in Victoria. We hope that compassion and common sense will prevail on that front. •

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