Plan to boost social housing stock

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.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.