From City of Ballarat Director Community Development Neville Ivey
“The City of Ballarat has developed a comprehensive Social Policy Framework. The framework and supporting documents articulate City of Ballarat’s position in a number of key social areas including housing and homelessness. Key themes include:
- The City of Ballarat recognises that housing directly impacts on an individual’s health and wellbeing, with housing playing a critical role in health, education, employment and safety outcomes.
- The City of Ballarat has a statutory responsibility in housing-related matters, such as land use and physical infrastructure planning and development, building controls, public health, traffic management and open space planning.
- The City of Ballarat encourages the provision of affordable, diverse housing opportunities across the municipality.
- The City of Ballarat undertakes research and considers data on local housing context and needs to inform planning and advocacy.
- Housing affordability across the country has declined significantly in recent years leading to – increases in housing stress for home buyers and renters, large social housing waiting lists, and, growing levels of homelessness locally as demand for housing services significantly exceeds supply.
- In 2016, 13.1 per cent of households in the City of Ballarat were experiencing housing stress – where housing stress is defined as households in the lowest 40 per cent of incomes who are paying more than 30 per cent of their usual gross weekly income on housing costs.
- We have implemented a revised protocol which ensures that City of Ballarat staff work closely with funded welfare agencies to look at opportunities for accommodation. This is to ensure all homeless in our community are supported and treated with respect and dignity.