30.06.2020Submission to the City of Melbourne’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy 2030

The Committee made a submission on 3 May 2020 to the City of Melbourne’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy 2030 (Draft Strategy) as part of the City of Melbourne’s community consultation process.

In 2017, the Committee launched its Melbourne 4.0 strategy 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 Committee identified nine strategic needs underpinning a liveable and flourishing Melbourne into the future, one of which was ‘Housing Mix’.

The Committee therefore welcomes the release of the Draft Strategy that seeks to provide some possible policy solutions to the affordable housing crisis. The Draft Strategy highlights that in the city there is a shortfall of at least 5500 affordable rental homes for people on very low to moderate incomes and the shortfall is anticipated to increase to approximately 23,200 by 2036 if no action is taken. The shortage of affordable homes is likely to become even more profound in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the detrimental impact the virus is having on the economy.

The Draft Strategy made four recommendations to address the affordable housing crisis, including advocating for mandatory inclusionary zoning; further developing affordable housing on City of Melbourne land; strengthening internal processes; and further advocacy and partnerships to promote affordable housing.

The Committee in its submission, cautioned that the recommendations in the Draft Strategy were made based on economic modelling undertaken in a pre-COVID environment and that the underlying assumptions may need to be revisited.

The Committee considers that a range of policies should be applied to address the affordable housing crisis. Policy initiatives should achieve a balance between delivering outcomes and ensuring the ongoing economic viability and sustainability of the economy and community. Some additional policies such as build-to-rent and value capture, may also offer viable opportunities where used in conjunction with a range of policy levers (especially those that provide incentives to developers like planning and tax reform and beneficial funding arrangements).

The Committee will continue to be an important contributor in the affordable housing discussion, particularly through its Housing Mix Taskforce. The City of Melbourne’s Strategy is due to be finalised by July 2020 and will then be considered by the Future Melbourne Committee.

The Committee’s submission to the Draft Strategy can be viewed here.

Please contact Leanne Edwards, Director – Policy and Research on ledwards@melbourne.org.au or Mark Lillehagen, Policy and Research Officer on mlillehagen@melbourne.org.au for more information.

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