Social housing campaign launched

The Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance (EAHA) has called on all Victorian political parties to zone in and deliver real action on social housing.

The EAHA is a collaboration between the cities of Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges that aims to ensure the most disadvantaged people in Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region have access to safe, secure and affordable housing.

EAHA Chair Councillor Sharon Ellis, of Whitehorse City Council, launched the EAHA’s ‘Zone In’ campaign, four months out from the State Election.

The campaign asks all political parties to commit to legislating to introduce mandatory inclusionary zoning in Victoria and delivering at least 11,420 new social housing dwellings in the Eastern Metropolitan Region by 2036.

Cr Ellis said, “There are 7,970 families in our region who don’t have safe, secure and affordable housing.

“Alarmingly, if action is not taken, this number will increase to 11,420 by 2036.

“Real action is needed urgently.”

Cr Ellis said that while EAHA member councils are doing everything they can, the State Government has an important role to play in fixing this unacceptable situation.

“Introducing mandatory inclusionary zoning at a rate of at least 10 percent on all surplus government land and strategic redevelopment sites would guarantee a steady supply of new social and affordable housing across the state.

“It will give certainty to Government, councils and developers about what’s expected, and provide more opportunities for our most disadvantaged community members to access safe, secure and affordable housing.”

Inclusionary zoning has been used extensively in places such as San Francisco, London, New York and Vancouver. Closer to home, South Australia has a mandatory 15 percent affordable housing requirement in all significant development projects.

Cr Ellis said that a key priority for the EAHA in advocating for the introduction of mandatory inclusionary zoning is to ensure vulnerable people and families aren’t forced to move to unfamiliar areas to find a home.