Two important steps in addressing Victoria’s affordable housing deficit

December 16, 2020

The Victorian government’s budget stimulus announced in November provides significant support for affordable and social housing and illustrates how build to rent can play an important role in addressing the current deficit. 

2020 has been a tenuous time for Australians, especially Victorians as we emerge from one of the harshest lockdowns experienced globally to curb the health risks of the pandemic. 

Although this has affected us immensely sociallyand the stability of our economy, it has brought to the fore what we Victorians valuestrong community connection and secure and quality housing remain paramount 

The Victorian Government’s Budget announcement of the Big Housing Build initiative will provide $5.3 billion to social and affordable housing, with more than 12,000 homes to be provided across metropolitan and regional areas.  

Touted as the ‘biggest single spend on social housing’ in our state’s history, it promises to provide much needed support to those on the waitlist seeking secure housing, all while supporting our construction industry and boosting our economic recovery post-lockdown. 

Throughout history, governments have used housing as an opportunity to rebuild post recessions to promulgate economic activity, all while advancing social outcomes. 

Additionally, the Victorian Treasurer’s commitment to a 50% land tax concession on build to rent projects from 2022 is an extra boost to housing in the state. As a new and burgeoning asset class, this support is welcomed by our business as build to rent can provide affordable secure tenure housing as seen in the UK and USA. In the USA, 30% of build to rent buildings assets in the last 25 years (which have more than 50 units) include between 5-100% of the product geared to low-income housing. That equates to 2.1 million units alone dedicated to long-term social housing. 

Australia already has an affordable housing shortfall in excess of 1 million dwellings that must be met by 2036. 

Every Australian deserves access to an affordable, well-designed home, and everyone deserves a community to come home to. Since we began in 2010, we’ve made it our mission to challenge our country’s housing affordability crisis—to come up with new ideas on how we can create a fairer system, and how we can live more sustainably in our cities.