Submission to the Victorian Government’s Build to Rent (BTR) Working Group

A Submission to the Victorian Government’s Build to Rent (BTR) Working Group was made on 21 August. Martine Letts and Jane Hodder (Board Member and Housing Mix Taskforce Chair, Committee for Melbourne) represented the Committee on the Victorian Government’s Build to Rent (BTR) Working Group to consider the draft report to the Treasurer and Planning Minister on BTR policy for Victoria.   

The Committee for Melbourne (the Committee) launched its own BTR discussion with its members in March last year, with a presentation by Dr David Rees, Regional Director, Research Strategy, Asia Pacific at JLL, hosted by Charter Keck Cramer.  

The Committee has also been looking at BTR within the broader context of its work under its Melbourne 4.0 strategy which was launched in September 2016 to help prepare Greater Melbourne for the accelerating speed of innovation and disruption that has catapulted us to the early stages of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. The delivery of sufficient supply of appropriate housing to deal with our rapidly growing population, greater urban densification and growing costs of living was considered important enough to form one of the strategic focus areas of the Committee and to facilitate the creation of a Housing Mix Taskforce. The Committee’s Housing Mix Taskforce, involves participation of industry leaders from the Committee’s cross sectorial membership from various industries, including finance, infrastructure, housing associations, developers, legal, academia and consulting firms.  

The Taskforce is aware that a great deal of work is being done on all questions related to housing mix.  Accordingly, it decided to focus on one key area, the lack of supply of affordable housing as a separate class to social housing.  The Taskforce is in the process of developing a series of recommendations for industry and government to contribute to resolving the housing challenges faced in Greater Melbourne, which include some with respect to BTR. 

The Committee, having already turned its mind to issues of BTR, is very supportive of work being done by government with a broad set of stakeholders, to develop BTR policies. The Committee finds itself in broad agreement with the issues which were raised at the 21 August Working Group meeting in terms of the top “must haves” to make BTR part of a solution for dealing with Melbourne and Victoria’s housing needs, and as an asset class which will attract the institutional investment required for success. The role of government at State and Federal level is key to making it a success.   

The Committee has provided a submission to the Victorian Government’s BTR Working Group outlining the Committee’s assessment of the BTR landscape and opportunities for success. The Committee will continue to work with the Victorian Government through the Working Group. In addition, the Committee’s Housing Mix Taskforce will continue its advocacy on development of an affordable housing framework and more effective BTR policies for Greater Melbourne. 

Read the Submission