06.05.2021Affordable housing levy amongst key considerations for a social and affordable housing strategy

There is a significant undersupply of social and affordable housing across Victoria and Melbourne, but COVID-19 has accelerated the need to tackle Victoria’s social and affordable housing crisis.

A sharp rise in house prices, in the past 12 months, has seen Melbourne become the sixth most expensive housing market in the world, at a time when COVID-19 has devastated the job market and people’s financial security has been challenged.

The Committee therefore welcomes the Victorian Government’s development of a 10-year social and affordable housing strategy. In the Committee’s submission to the government in early April, the Committee called for the strategy to be extended to 40-years. The key elements of such a strategy should include community awareness campaigns, data collection, target setting and the development of policies that will increase the supply of much needed housing such as considering an affordable housing levy.

The Committee has raised the possibility of a levy for attention, given the immediate need to generate significant and ongoing funding, to deliver affordable housing at scale. Of course, the Government’s commitment to the Big Housing Build, with around $5.3 billion dedicated to the construction of around 12,000 social and affordable homes over four years, is a welcome first step. But that investment does not come close to delivering the estimated hundreds of thousands of social and affordable homes that are needed. More than just direct investment by governments will be required to fill the supply gap.

Martine Letts outlines the Committee’s submission and discusses the possibility of a levy, on ABC News Radio here.

The Committee’s submission to the Victorian Government’s consultation on a 10-year social and affordable housing strategy can be viewed here

For more information contact Leanne Edwards, Director Policy & Research, ledwards@melbourne.org.au

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