We can achieve our outcome goal by:
- delivering more social housing
- having person-centred, safe and sustainable public housing
- increasing access to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income Victorians
- providing early support to sustain tenancies to prevent people falling into homelessness
- providing accommodation for people with complex needs who need support and treatment to move towards living safely in the community
- providing high-quality and accessible homes for people with disability
- creating communities that are diverse, inclusive, thriving and that offer life opportunities for Victorians.
One of the most important foundations for a healthy life is a stable and safe home. But not everyone has a safe and secure place to live. Some people face housing stress and instability or are experiencing homelessness. We know that once someone has a safe and secure home, other concerns such as mental illness, trauma, family violence and even finding a job can improve. We also know that homelessness and sleeping rough can worsen mental health problems, trauma and poor health, as well as expose people to violence.
In response, the Victorian Government has invested $5.3 billion in the Big Housing Build. This social housing initiative will construct more than 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria. The state’s social housing supply will increase by 10 per cent in four years.67 The Director of Housing is now known as Homes Victoria, a public non-financial corporation. This rebranded entity works across government, industry and the social housing sector. Homes Victoria will deliver this program of housing growth and manage existing public housing.
Homes Victoria is changing the housing landscape, providing more affordable housing options for Victorians who need them. This includes ensuring a range of different housing types and models are available in urban and regional areas.
We aim to address the gap between private rental rates and community housing rates so people can afford a private rental or local housing close to where they work. Nurses, teachers and other critical workers may work in suburbs they cannot afford to live in. This forces them to travel hours to get to work and adds to labour shortages in those areas.
Homes Victoria will build 2,900 more affordable and low-cost homes.68 These will help low-to-moderate income earners live closer to where they work and provide options for private rental. All new homes will meet seven-star energy efficiency standards. They will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, responding to changing household sizes in Victoria.
Aboriginal people have higher rates of homelessness in Victoria than anywhere in Australia. To address this, the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework – Mana-na woorn-tyeen maar-takoort (Every Aboriginal person has a home) – will put in place the building blocks of a new approach to achieve safe and secure housing for Aboriginal Victorians.
We will target 10 per cent of Victoria’s social housing boost to meet the needs of Aboriginal Victorians. Around 2,000 new homes will be available for people living with mental illness.69 We are also continuing to provide crisis, emergency and other appropriate accommodation options for people experiencing family violence.
Homes Victoria is leading a large-scale program to renew, rebuild and upgrade homes to become safer, more liveable and more accessible.
All the new homes built as part of the Big Housing Build will aim for a minimum silver rating from Liveable Homes Australia. This will ensure Victoria’s social housing portfolio provides high-quality homes that meet the needs of people with disability. Investment in forensic disability residential services will allow people with cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system get the support they need.
Social housing investment is also a means to create job and business opportunities our communities. Using our buying power for social good, we have set ambitious targets to employ and support jobseekers including:
- Aboriginal Victorians
- CALD communities
- LGBTIQ+ people
- public and community housing tenants.
We will work hand in hand with industry to realise job and spending targets. This will help create a more equal, diverse and inclusive property and construction industry.
We do not just build housing. We also build communities. We have place-based teams working in partnership with local residents, other government agencies and service providers to help build more connected communities. This will help bring community health and other services together.
Visit Homes Victoria’s website for more information about these initiatives, including Homes Victoria’s corporate plan.
67 Source: Premier’s Media release, ‘Victoria’s Big Housing Build’, 15 November 2020
68 Source: Premier’s Media release, ‘Victoria’s Big Housing Build’, 15 November 2020
69 Source: Premier’s Media release, ‘Victoria’s Big Housing Build’, 15 November 2020