Plan to boost social housing stock

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Council has adopted a long-term plan to increase the amount of social housing across Greater Geelong.

The Social Housing Plan 2020-2041 was endorsed by Council at an ordinary council meeting.

Amid rising demand for low-cost housing options, the plan aims to help create a further 12,000 new social housing dwellings in the municipality over the next 20 years.

There are currently 3300 Greater Geelong households living in social housing, with nearly 11,000 others in financial stress due to housing costs.

The plan identifies a range of options to expand supply, including a contribution of City-owned land to social housing.

The City’s land and funding contributions would then be used to leverage investments from other levels of government.

Central to the plan is a target of 6000 new social housing dwellings by 2031, with another 6000 properties to be introduced in the following decade.

There is also recognition of the need to work with the responsible authority, the Victorian Government, to improve the use and quality of current social housing stock in the municipality.

The plan outlines a goal of seeing 750 existing public housing dwellings replaced within the first decade, with another 750 to be replaced by 2041.

Suburbs with a high proportion of existing properties would further be targeted under an urban revitalisation program, to increase the liveability and safety of the areas.

Council also resolved to investigate the creation of an affordable housing trust, and its appropriate governance model. Councillor Sarah Mansfield successfully moved an amendment requesting a report on this within 18 months.

The Social Housing Plan was developed with the help of social housing tenants, community service agencies, housing providers, the industry sector, and attendees of the Let’s Talk About Social Housing Forum.

It was funded by a grant from the state government’s Social Housing Investment Planning program.

Social housing is provided by the state government (public housing) or by Registered Housing Agencies (community housing).

Councillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor

The most vulnerable in our community need to be supported with a variety of affordable housing options across Geelong.

To do this, we’ve taken the lead on creating a long-term strategy to lift the level of safe and secure low-cost housing stock.

But this is not something we can do alone. The scale of the task requires significant financial commitments from all levels of governments over many years. It also requires education about the benefits of housing diversity to strong communities.

Councillor Sarah Mansfield, Chair, Social Inclusion portfolio

Stable housing helps people feel safe, connected and part of a supportive community.  

It has the biggest influence in helping people engage with employment, education and community services.

This strategy highlights that the quantity and quality of social housing in Geelong is calling out for sustained improvement.

Without major investment, the numbers of people experiencing housing stress will only increase.

Page last updated: Thursday, 27 February 2020