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Victoria confirms $40m housing injection

The state’s government has promised almost $40 million in reforms and projects in its latest budget to improve housing supply, prices and infrastructure.

As per a statement from Premier Daniel Andrew, included in this investment is nearly $28 million in measures that include providing “greater protections for consumers, strengthen building standards, cut red tape and address building workforce shortages”. 

Two acts included in this direction are the establishing of the state’s first “business monitor”, which is said to advocate for domestic building consumers and to report on emerging issues, and the first “state building surveyor”.

Further, in an act to put “downward pressure” on house prices, the Victorian government will devote $6 million to speeding up precinct planning and approvals for close to 139,000 residential lots across the state. 

This includes 95,000 lots located in growth corridors throughout the capital, and almost 44,000 lots in the state’s regional cities and towns. 

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The state’s government also declared that $1.6 million will be used, in part, to assist in unlocking sustainable growth throughout Victoria’s regional areas. 

Speaking of the budget, Victoria’s Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, said that planning plays a critical role in our state’s economic recovery, “ensuring a pipeline of construction jobs across Victoria”.

Mr Wynne added that these investments will “cut red tape for small businesses, speed up projects large and small and ensure Victoria’s growth is well managed into the future”.

“With proper precinct planning, we’re delivering the services, infrastructure and housing Victorians need – keeping communities liveable and connected, and creating jobs across the state,” Mr Wynne said.

In addition to this focus on improving housing supply, this latest budget also included measures to address homelessness throughout the state. 

As per a statement from Mr Andrew, a figure of $75 million will be invested in “services for Victorians experiencing or at risk of homelessness”, which is said to include “tailored support to get them into permanent housing”.

This figure includes $24 million that will be focused on producing new accommodation for Victorians requiring support to maintain their housing. 

Further, $11.5 million will be invested to assist the state’s residents who are at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19, while an additional $9.4 million will be provided to support a handful of homelessness programs throughout the state. 

“Every Victorian deserves the safety and security of a roof over their head – and for many, social housing and homelessness services offer a life-changing helping hand,” said Mr Wynne on the measures. 

“Our unprecedented investment in safe, secure housing will change lives – providing a home for even more Victorians and creating thousands of jobs as we recover from the pandemic.”

The Victorian government’s steps to provide greater housing supply and housing support come in the wake of its decision to scrap the proposed Social and Affordable Housing Contribution. 

Under the initiative, newly built developments with at least three dwellings, or residential lot subdivisions, would have contributed 1.75 per cent of their completed market value to the Social Housing Growth Fund as a means for the state to deliver further social housing projects.

Recent bodies have declared that Australia is in desperate need for more affordable and social housing, with the Community Housing Institute of Australia declaring last month a need for the annual construction of 25,000 new social and affordable rental homes across the country

[Related: Victoria set to bring in social housing ‘contribution’]

Victoria confirms $40m housing injection
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Sam Nichols

Sam Nichols is a journalist at The Adviser and Mortgage Business. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including ABC News, SBS' The Feed, and VICE.

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