The Victorian government has laid out plans for 2,000-plus new units over the next five years to support “vulnerable Victorians” as part of a $1 billion fund.
The Social Housing Growth Fund, which was created in 2018, will strive to create an ongoing investment pipeline for affordable homes to offset Australia's growing problem of housing affordability and the lack of secure longer-term rental in well-located areas.
The fund will attempt to kickstart social and affordable development, including private housing or any other form of development that a consortia wishes to propose.
Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas said the billion-dollar fund would go a long way to ensure there are more affordable homes were provided to at need Victorians.
The Victorian government will partner with the community, private, not for profit and local government sectors to deliver housing assistance to Victorians.
New homes in Werribee and Doveton delivered by Aboriginal Housing Victoria will be some of the first to be completed under the funding.
Construction of further social housing properties at Hampton Park, Grovedale, Mernda, Bundoora, and Thornbury are also on track to be completed throughout the year.
The slowing of the economy and resulting surge in unemployment from the coronavirus could now place further strain on social and affordable housing which is already experiencing a deficit of 650,000 homes nationally.
According to figures released last year from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre and Community Housing Industry Association, the existing deficit could blow out to nearly 1 million homes by 2036.
Official figures released last week showed that unemployment rose 6.2 per cent in April in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown with many economists expecting the jobless rate to continue to rise.
The Victorian government will now use key demand drivers and priority areas to influence the specification of terms for the competitive funding process.
Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said the latest tranche of funding would deliver 780 units over the short-term.
Policy-makers will now partner with the community, private, not-for-profit and local government sectors to plan and deliver new housing options.