ANDREW PURDIE

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“I have a deep-seated desire for my life to stand for more than what I achieve professionally. I honestly believe that if you are in a position to serve, be it financially, with time, with resources, with food or shelter, with kindness or with intellect, it’s our duty as part of our humanity to do so”

Founder, Andrew Purdie

The growing housing crisis looms like an ominous cloud over the state of Victoria.  It is a complex issue that demands immediate attention and concerted efforts from all stakeholders. Adequate social housing is not a luxury but a fundamental human right, and addressing this crisis should be a top priority for policymakers, community leaders, and residents alike.

By investing in social housing, Victoria can not only provide secure and affordable homes for its residents but also create stronger, more inclusive communities that benefit everyone. Housing should be a source of security and hope, not a cause of hardship and despair.

Soaring property prices, a short supply of affordable homes and a lack of adequate social housing means every day Australians grappling with a housing crisis that threatens the very fabric of our communities.

1. Skyrocketing property prices are making homeownership an unattainable dream for many. This surge in prices has created a gaping chasm between the haves and the have-nots, exacerbating wealth inequality.

2. Rising rent costs soar in direct proportion to short supply. With the demand for rental properties outstripping supply, rent prices have become a significant financial burden for many Victorians.

3. The surge in homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing is resulting in individuals and families finding themselves on the streets or in precarious living situations.

4. Inadequate social housing is one of the most critical facets of the crisis with insufficient stock to meet the needs of Victoria’s vulnerable populations, leaving many without a stable place to call home. 

Soaring property prices, a short supply of affordable homes and a lack of adequate social housing means every day Australians grappling with a housing crisis that threatens the very fabric of our communities.

1. Skyrocketing property prices are making homeownership an unattainable dream for many. This surge in prices has created a gaping chasm between the haves and the have-nots, exacerbating wealth inequality.

2. Rising rent costs soar in direct proportion to short supply. With the demand for rental properties outstripping supply, rent prices have become a significant financial burden for many Victorians.

3. The surge in homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing is resulting in individuals and families finding themselves on the streets or in precarious living situations.

4. Inadequate social housing is one of the most critical facets of the crisis with insufficient stock to meet the needs of Victoria’s vulnerable populations, leaving many without a stable place to call home. 

Social housing, often referred to as public housing or community housing, plays a pivotal role in addressing the housing crisis. It provides secure, affordable, and long-term housing solutions for those who cannot access or sustain market-rate housing.

Affordability: Rents are significantly lower than market rates which is vital for those struggling financially.

Stability: Offers long-term security which is crucial for individuals and families striving to escape the cycle of homelessness or housing instability. It also offers a pathway for those experiencing homelessness to regain their independence and dignity. Residents benefit from shared resources and support networks, contributing to their overall well-being.

The crisis looms with long and disheartening waitlists for social housing in Victoria. Families and individuals in crisis often have to endure years of uncertainty before securing a home. Adequate funding is essential for the maintenance and expansion of social housing. And ensuring equitable access is crucial for social housing initiatives.

To move forward, Victoria requires increased investment from state and federal governments for the construction and maintenance of social housing units. Collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups is essential for designing and implementing effective social housing programs. These partnerships can streamline resources and expertise to prioritize innovative and sustainable design to improve the quality of living for residents and ensure that housing units are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Efforts should be made to ensure that social housing is accessible and welcoming to all Victorians, including Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. Social housing initiatives should incorporate support services for tenants, including mental health support, job training, and addiction recovery programs. These services can help residents regain their independence and stability.

On September 20, 2023 the Victoria Labor Government released its landmark package to boost housing supply and affordability in Victoria – representing the biggest shake-up to planning and housing reform in generations. The fastest growing state in Australia, our population set to hit 10.3 million by 2051. To ease the housing pressure Victorians are facing, we need to build 2.24 million homes in that time, including a target of 425,600 across regional and rural Victoria.

Victoria’s Housing Statement – The Decade Ahead 2024-2034 sets a bold target to build 800,000 new homes (80,000 a year) across the state over the next 10 years, delivered through an Affordability Partnership with the housing industry. The Housing Statement focuses on five key areas to tackle the root of the problem – housing supply:

Good decisions, made faster: reforming Victoria’s planning system, clearing the backlog of planning permits, giving builders, buyers and renovators certainty about how long approvals will take – and a clear pathway to resolve issues quickly if those timeframes aren’t met.

Cheaper housing, closer to where you work: unlocking new spaces to stop urban sprawl, building more homes closer to where people have the transport, roads, hospitals and schools they need and delivering vital, basic community infrastructure.

Protecting renters’ rights: closing loopholes that drive up the cost of living for renters, giving tenants more certainty over their leases, living standards and finances, and resolving disputes faster to keep them out of VCAT.

More social housing: rapidly accelerating the rollout of social and affordable homes across Victoria and launching Australia’s biggest urban renewal project across Melbourne’s 44 high-rise social housing towers

A long-term housing plan: delivering a long-term plan to guide how our state grows in the decades ahead, and reviewing the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to build a planning system that works with Victorians – not against them.

In recognition of the joint effort needed to ease the housing pressure Victorians face, the Labor Government today signed the Affordability Partnership alongside the Property Council of Australia, Master Builders Victoria, the Urban Development Institute of Australia, the Housing Industry Association and Super Housing Partnerships. As part of the Partnership, the Government will foster the conditions needed to stimulate investment and build high-quality homes faster in the places where Victorians want to live – and the industry will build more housing for the Victorians who need it most.

To apply for social housing visit www.my.gov.au with a Victorian Housing Register Application.

www.bennettwilliams.com.au

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