Social and Affordable Homes

Melbourne needs hundreds of thousands more social and affordable homes.

At our event held at Maurice Blackburn on Thursday 24 August 2023, we discussed how the undersupply of social and affordable housing across Melbourne and Victoria is a crisis affecting people who need them most.

Laura Mahoney from Launch Housing took us through some eye-opening statistics including how 30,000 people are without a home in Victoria and there are over 67,000 people on the public housing waitlist. Launch Housing is on a mission to end homelessness, but the housing sector needs more investment and planning to reduce the number of people living on the streets to zero.

Our CEO Mark Melvin moderated a panel discussion with Laura, Emma Dawson from Per Capita Australia, David Mansfield GAICD from The Ascott Limited and Frank McGuire from PEXA who outlined key challenges and opportunities within the housing sector.

Everyone agreed that this is a whole-community issue. The implications are far-reaching with homelessness increasing and low-income individuals and families struggling to meet their day-to-day needs. The lack of housing for those in need is also impacting businesses’ capacity to attract workers and Melbourne’s capacity to attract and retain talent.

Committee for Melbourne has supported the Victorian Government’s proposal to develop a 10-year social and affordable housing strategy but considered a longer-term outlook like a 40-year strategy would be more appropriate. In 2021, the Committee provided a detailed submission called ‘Delivering Affordable Housing’ – to the Government’s consultation on its strategy – and we continue to look forward to seeing the strategy released.

We need homes for all Melburnians. Our Benchmarking Melbourne 2023 report ranks Melbourne as the 5th most unaffordable city in the English-speaking world, and four in five residents think that finding affordable housing is one of the most important challenges facing the city.

We need to keep the conversation going around how government at all levels as well as the private and community sector organisations can work together to increase the supply of social and affordable homes.

The Committee thanks all panellists for their expert knowledge, and to Jacob Varghese and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers for hosting our event.

Mark Melvin, Jacob Varghese, Frank McGuire, Laura Mahoney, Emma Dawson and David Mansfield standing together for a photo at the Social and Affordable Homes eventMark Melvin, Emma Dawson, Frank McGuire, David Mansfield and Laura Mahoney on a panel at Social and Affordable Homes event Room of people clapping at Social and Affordable Homes event

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