Council adopts Affordable Housing Action Plan
A plan outlining how the City of Greater Bendigo will support an increase in the local supply of affordable housing has been adopted by Council.
The Affordable Housing Action Plan recognises there is a serious problem in accessing affordable housing in Greater Bendigo, which can be both social or public housing as well as private housing that people on very low and moderate incomes can afford.
Mayor Cr Dr Jennifer Alden said housing is a human right and considered essential infrastructure, yet more than 2,600 households in Greater Bendigo were waiting to access social housing.
“A number of issues are contributing to this problem, such as increasing pressure in the private rental market, the rising cost of housing, and the existing type of housing we have in Greater Bendigo is no longer meeting the changing demographic of those who need affordable housing,” Cr Alden said.
“As a result, we are seeing more people in our community living in housing they cannot afford, sacrificing food, heating and cooling, needing subsidised (social) housing, or sleeping on a friend’s couch, in their car or on the street.”
To respond to these needs, the action plan is based on three objectives:
- Better understand affordable housing issues
- Increase supply and improve the quality of affordable housing
- Improve Council processes and timeframes that affect affordable housing
The objectives are supported by 26 actions that have been developed with key stakeholders.
Cr Alden said Council’s roles in supporting the future delivery of affordable housing would be as leader, advocate, facilitator and partner.
“Council will not be building houses to help with housing supply, but governments at all levels have a responsibility to ensure people can access appropriate and affordable housing,” she said.
The action plan identifies ways the City can support our local community housing providers, and not-for-profit and faith-based organisations as more and more people rely on their services.
“Although it will be some time before the houses are available, Greater Bendigo is set to benefit from a minimum $85M Victorian Government investment in affordable housing.
“To propel construction, the City is looking at surplus land across the municipality that may be suitable to accommodate future affordable housing and is also looking at making the identification and approvals process as efficient as possible.
“Our aim is to increase the supply of affordable housing from 4.9 per cent to 10 per cent by 2036.”