Council’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy recently endorsed

The City of Casey’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy 2020-2024 articulates Council’s vision for a city in which all residents have access to secure, appropriate, and affordable housing.

Following endorsement at a Council meeting on Tuesday 1 September, the Draft Strategy will go on public exhibition for six weeks from Monday 14 September.

This phase will provide Casey residents with another opportunity to have their say on how Council acts and advocates on behalf of our community, to ensure everyone has access to a roof over their head.

In 2019, Council undertook extensive consultation with residents and industry stakeholders, to get their ideas and feedback, which would help shape the current Draft Strategy.

In summary, Council received 319 submissions, with more than 60% of respondents saying they do not know where to go for help in the event of housing challenges. Respondents also showed overwhelming support in favour of Council taking action to help increase the supply of affordable housing.

Following this engagement exercise, a strategy has been developed, which is founded on three key actions:

1. Advocate

2. Partner, and

3. Facilitate

City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM said the three strategic principles are implemented through actions, which consider homelessness, social and affordable housing investment, policy and legislative change, awareness-raising, and data and research capacity building.

“In Casey, research into the current and forecast need for affordable housing has demonstrated an existing shortfall of more than 5,500 affordable housing dwellings,” Ms Duff said.

“Without changes to the existing shortfall, this forecast can increase to a shortage of more than 10,000 affordable housing dwellings by 2041. In addition to affordable housing, it is estimated that by 2041, some 4,800 emergency accommodation places will be required.”

These shortfalls are the result of a range of factors, including:

  • a rapidly growing population
  • housing prices
  • expenses and rents increasing faster than wages
  • stagnating social housing supply
  • insufficient investment into affordable housing over many years

Ms Duff added that Council is committed to partnering with other levels of Government and community service organisations to advocate for the community and to help address this shortage in Casey, as well as the issue of homelessness.

“Council’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy outlines our involvement in this space and showcases the actions outlined to facilitate affordable housing in our community,” Ms Duff said.

“While the extent of Council’s power is limited within this space, we are committed to understanding the needs of our community and working with partner organisations, to assist with the provision of affordable housing in Casey through a range of measures.”

Demonstrative of this commitment was Council’s recent endorsement of the Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter, which will see Casey work with 12 other Councils to collectively advocate for increased social hosing investment.

The Draft Affordable Housing Strategy will be exhibited on Council’s online engagement portal, Casey Conversations.

“By having your say on this strategy, you can inform an important strategic Council document that will help determine the future of your fellow residents,” Ms Duff said.

Council’s Affordable Housing Strategy was funded through the Social Housing Investment Planning (SHIP) grant, which Council successfully secured funding from in 2018, via the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

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