Houses for People 2020: Council adapts Affordable Housing Strategy

Affordable housingCouncil adopted the Greater Shepparton Affordable Housing Strategy: Houses for People 2020 at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday, 21 April 2020.The Strategy builds on Council’s ongoing support for homeless and low-income households, providing a strategic basis for expansion of funding advocacy to the State and Federal Governments. It includes a range of actions that can be taken by Council to maximise efficient use of funding allocations and support increased availability and diversity in Affordable and Social Housing options for vulnerable groups.

The Strategy recognises three levels of housing need in the municipality; acute, at-risk and potential; identifying a significant proportion of Greater Shepparton’s population who are vulnerable to homelessness and housing stress, including women, young people, single-parent families, older people, people with a disability, new arrivals, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah, said adoption of the Strategy is an important step forward in adjusting the future course of Greater Shepparton’s housing market to respond to increasing social diversity.

“Council understands the current COVID-19 pandemic is likely to increase demand for Affordable Housing, and we are pleased the Strategy’s adoption will assist in supporting the longer term recovery phase once the pandemic has passed.

“Shortages of safe, affordable and appropriate housing have built up gradually over an extended period through a combination of direct and indirect factors, and are having extensive social and economic impacts on our community,” she said.

“The Strategy gives Council a strong foundation for the kind of multi-sector partnerships and targeted investment that will be required to address the challenges of increasing the availability and diversity of our housing stock in response to the community’s needs,” said Cr Abdullah.

Council is looking forward to launching the Strategy’s Actions over the coming months, including the establishment of an Affordable Housing Reference Group, a dedicated website to enable knowledge sharing and ongoing community input, an audit of Council-owned properties to assess the potential for use as Affordable Housing, and incorporation of Affordable Housing into new growth corridors.

Prompted by changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 that aim to facilitate Affordable Housing, and with funding from the Victorian Government’s Voluntary Affordable Housing Grant Program, development of the Strategy explored Council’s role as Planning Authority and how Affordable Housing outcomes can be achieved within planning responses to the broader housing provision context.

The Strategy was prepared by Affordable Development Outcomes with extensive input from government agencies, housing providers, charitable organisations, local housing professionals, and the Greater Shepparton community.

For more information on the Greater Shepparton Affordable Housing Strategy: Houses for People 2020 visit this page, or contact Council’s Building, Planning and Compliance Department on (03) 5832 9730.


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