Holding the key

Local government knows there is a problem with affordable housing in Australia but few councils are acting according to the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA).  

A 2018 survey of 200 councils concluded half of metropolitan councils admitted housing is either a very substantial or a substantial issue.  

It is also a substantial issue for over a quarter of non-metropolitan councils.

While affordable housing is discussed frequently by 38 percent of local councils, almost half of those surveyed reported that they paid little attention to the issue. 

CHIA believes affordable housing needs to be a priority for local governments’ agendas, asserting that there are steps local councils can take which are economically viable. 

CHIA recently launched their National Plan to
deliver more affordable housing across the country. 

The Plan aims to create 100,000 new affordable housing units and 100,000 extra social housing units by 2028. 

Another key target is to halve the rate of homelessness in Australia over the next decade. 

CHIA urges all levels of government to support the plan. 

The National Plan recognised that Local Government is a key player in driving housing outcomes. 

It proposes that local governments offer planning concessions for developments with more than 20 percent affordable housing, which would be one way to create more properties for sale or rent. 

Another strategy is ensuring development applications are fast tracked, or limiting appeal rights against developments with more than a certain proportion of affordable housing.

Port Phillip Council is leading the way with its commitment to deliver over 500 affordable dwellings locally. 

A CHIA spokesperson said, “Local governments have the ability to make sure our housing developments deliver diverse housing options that meet the needs of all Australians – regardless of their income level.”