Category Archives: Victoria

News relating to Victoria.

More investment needed in affordable housing

In an article in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, Community Housing Industry Association Chair Michael Lennon has said the Victorian Government was dancing around the issue of providing affordable housing.

‘Victoria has the lowest proportion of social and affordable housing of any state or territory,’ he said. ‘It’s because of a protracted period of under investment by progressive state governments.’

Aside from an apparent lack of will to invest in affordable housing, Mr Lennon said the government’s steps forward appear to show compelling developers to build affordable housing was in the too-hard basket.

‘Obviously anything which will provide addition supply is to be supported, however from international experience it’s a legal minefield to put the burden of supply on landowners who put forward an application.’

Click here to read more.

Victorian budget ignores housing crisis

Victoria is set to retain its unenviable record of having the lowest percentage of social housing in Australia, with the budget lacking the type of investment needed to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for those on low incomes.

Chief Executive Officer of Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) Lesley Dredge says whilst the Victorian Government is to be commended on implementing the Homes for Victorians strategy, and putting in place the architecture needed for growth in social housing, Victoria’s level of social housing will continue to go backwards.

The latest statistics show there are currently 36,742 households on the Victorian Housing Register, awaiting social housing, including 17,848 on the priority list.

‘Those figures represents only some of the Victorian households experiencing extreme housing stress – impacting on all aspects of their lives and the communities in which they live, Ms Dredge says.

‘We must address the urgent backlog of social and affordable housing in Victoria. With Melbourne growing by 125,000 people last year and housing stress increasing in our regional centres, doing nothing is just not an option,’ Ms Dredge says.

‘We need 1800 properties just to stand still and remain the worst in the country – whilst the Budget target is a drop of 45 social housing dwellings.’

Ms Dredge says there were positives to come out of the Budget, including
– rebuilding the TAFE system and aligning the training system with industry
– big investments in mental health and addiction
– further investment in health and education
– continuation of the large focus on infrastructure.

‘But without an affordable, well-located home it is hard for those on low incomes to make use of these initiatives.’

PPHA delivers 73 new homes for low income residents

Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) will team up with the Whitehorse City Council and property developer MAB Corporation (MAB) to deliver 73 brand new architect-designed, affordable homes for low income residents, particularly older people and those living with a disability.

The $25 million affordable housing project in Bruce Street, Box Hill will further expand PPHA’s social housing capacity in the inner-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at a time when rental properties for low income residents, are critically low.

Whitehorse City Council is one of the first local authorities in Melbourne’s east to take the lead in increasing affordable housing.

PPHA Chairman Frank O’Connor said: ‘This project proves just what can be achieved when private enterprise, local government, great design and innovative community housing come together with a sincere, common purpose.

‘A critical solution to the housing affordability crisis being felt right across our communities, is to fundamentally increase the number of affordable, quality homes available to rent.

‘There are simply not enough affordable homes to fill the need, where that need is located,’ Mr. O’Connor said.

‘Building contemporary, beautiful, good quality homes where people can live safely, with dignity and at an affordable price brings relief not just to them, but to the whole community.’

Whitehorse Mayor, Cr Andrew Davenport said this new development will provide 73 well designed apartments for local residents who will pay rent only within their means.

‘In Whitehorse, only 1.6 per cent of all rental vacancies in 2016 were classified as affordable,’ Cr Davenport said.

‘With Port Phillip Housing Association and MAB Corporation involved in the project, Box Hill locals can be assured that the development will be attractive and will integrate beautifully into the character and amenity of the local area.’

This will be the second affordable housing collaboration between PPHA, HAYBALL architects and MAB Corporation, a leading, diversified Melbourne-based development group. The same team was behind the Moorabbin Affordable Housing development completed in 2011 with a project value of $23 million. Located in South Road Moorabbin, the project delivered seven storeys and 75 apartments at completion.

The Bruce Street Box Hill project will comprise;

  • 73 architect-designed affordable housing apartments,
  • built to the Victorian Government’s Better Apartment Design standards,
  • a mix of studio, 1 and 2-bedroom and dual key dwellings,
  • will include apartments specially designed for those living with a disability, with
  • 40 apartments suitable for older residents.

The site will also include a social enterprise café as well as commercial and retail opportunities, to create a supportive vibrant neighbourhood for residents.

PPHA Chief Executive Haleh Homaei said building resilient and sustainable neighbourhoods to support good quality housing is the key to long term, stable, affordable housing tenancies and ensuring return on investment.

This expertise, plus our 30+ years’ experience in tenancy management are the unique elements that we, as a robust, regulated community housing agency, bring to this table and to all our collaborative partnerships.

‘We are thrilled to be working on our next exciting project with Whitehorse City Council, MAB and Hayball. This project will deliver $25 million high quality – affordable housing to Box Hill.’

  • article contributed by PPHA

CHIA Vic opens early bird tix

CHIA Vic’s has released early bird tickets for the Brave New World of Community Housing conference, to be held on Thursday, April 19.

Keynote speaker, Derek Ballantyne, is the new Chair of the organisation tasked with the implementation of Canada’s new National Housing Strategy.

Derek will provide insights into the development of the strategy, and expected a vital educational and networking event that provides our members and key stakeholders access to the industry’s latest developments, policy and best practice via inspirational speakers.

See details on the conference program, or secure your early bird tickets now.

CHFV Board member and Swinburne University academic Terry Burke has put up a spirited argument in support of community housing as a sound platform for fair social housing in an article featured in The Conversation this morning.

CHFV mobilised its response in The Conversation to tackle recent criticisms made in the online publication, and other media, around the transfer of public housing to community housing as the government ‘wriggling out’ of its responsibilities.

Prof Burke clearly states the case for community housing providers playing a key role in public housing renewal programs.

‘The (not-for-profit) sector can grasp the opportunities offered by policy reform in a way the public sector cannot, and provide sustained affordability and security,’ Prof Burke argues.

Click here to read the full article.

Melbourne’s The Age newspaper has today published an opinion piece by CHFV Executive Officer Lesley Dredge that calls for a creative approach to the Victorian Government’s public housing renewal program.

The article reinforces the urgent need to revitalise ageing public housing estates and demonstrates the ability of not-for-profit community housing providers to deliver vibrant, mixed-use precincts that provide tenants with the dignity that comes from having secure, affordable and appropriate housing to call home.

Click here to read the full article.

CHFV becomes CHIA Vic

CHIA Vic logo

CHFV’s board and members have continued to demonstrate their strong support of the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) by agreeing to adopt the trading name CHIA Vic in the new financial year.

The ‘trading as’ name change is part of CHFV’s compact with CHIA, which will it act as the Victorian state branch of the national organisation, whilst retaining its own legal entity. The move is a natural progression of CHFV’s strong support of CHIA, which dates back to 2015.

CHFV will launch a new website and branding in light of the name change.

CHIA expects to successfully complete negotiations with the other state peaks by the end of June this year, which will  clarify how the organisations will work together to advance the community housing industry.