First steps taken … let’s walk together

Publish date:

Councils are fully committed to addressing the current housing crisis in an effective and timely manner.

The State Government’s housing statement, together with the development of the new Plan for Victoria (replacing Plan Melbourne), offer a rare opportunity to put Victoria on the right footing for a climate resilient, socially connected and economically thriving future.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is encouraged by the State’s Government's housing statement, which highlights the need for a meaningful partnership with local government to ensure successful implementation.

MAV Deputy President Cr Jennifer Anderson said councils stand ready to work alongside the State Government, to increase supply and ensure we are building sustainable and liveable communities.

“The levy on short-stay rental accommodation is a good start. This type of accommodation is clearly impacting on the long-term rental market and we welcome the funds being fully dedicated to social housing,” Cr Anderson said.

“Councils have led the way in addressing short stays, but a consistent, state-wide approach is critically important.”

“Addressing inclusionary zoning, land-banking, and support for councils who have affordable housing targets in their planning schemes will continue to be required in order to tackle the housing crisis.”

MAV research has dispelled any claims council planning processes are a significant factor causing the housing crisis.

“Councils facilitate massive amounts of development every year, with high levels of community input embedded in the process,” Cr Anderson explained.

“Despite claims to the contrary, MAV research clearly shows councils are not hindering housing stock growth. Planning permits for 120,000 dwellings are approved, but construction has not commenced.”

“The fact is it’s often more profitable to delay supply, so naturally that’s what some developers are doing. We need to look at how we can change the incentives at a system wide level,” Cr Anderson said.

The next steps of reforms must remember that planning is about more than housing.

The MAV wants to work in partnership with all levels of government and communities to build a ‘better Victoria’ that provides ample and diverse housing including social and affordable housing, well serviced growth, high quality urban regeneration at pace and scale, and good access to jobs and opportunities for all residents. All this needs to occur within development patterns that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

In order to get this right, the State Government partnering with the MAV as the statutory peak body for Victoria’s 79 councils, is critical.