How Will Victoria Provide Affordable Housing?
The Victorian Government recognises that they have an affordable housing crisis. The solutions that are offered (in their media release from 1/2/17 titled “VICTORIA STEPS UP ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY”), in summary are:
- reducing red tape for development approvals
- changing land zoning to increase potential supply of housing
- expanding public housing supply to stabilise the rental market
- hoping that the federal government will provide community housing providers
The State Government is really only offering the solution of increasing housing supply. (zoning changes and reducing red tape are about increasing supply rapidly).
A rapid increase in housing supply can create other (sometimes unforeseen) issues, that may include:
- excessive loads on community infrastructure (public transport, roads, sewer, water, electricity etc.)
- approval of inappropriately small allotments or bland high density construction (creating potential future ghettos)
- sub-standard housing quality (because, any contractor with a heart beat will be employed to get projects finished)
- Creating a construction employment boom, followed by a time of under-employment for those same workers.
- Creating a potential over supply of housing ( I saw this happen in Mackay, and when the job market changed, the oversupply was devastating to the housing market which caused a lot of foreclosures)
Taking the above into consideration, it is important that the Victorian Government’s focus should be on increasing the quantity of perpetually affordable housing. This would then help to avoid similar knee-jerk reactions in the future. Consistent and planed organic growth in line with demand is key to avoiding boom and bust cycles in employment and property.
A CLT(Community Land Trust) is a very good way to provide perpetually affordable housing. We can help to implement a CLT in your local community.