Ten-Year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy for Victoria
In February 2021, the Victorian Government invited organisations and individuals to have their say on the development of a ten-year strategy for social and affordable housing in Victoria.
This strategy will build upon the release of other related reports and initiatives such as the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build initiative (November 2020), the final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (March 2021), the final report from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria (March 2021), and the development of a new state-wide whole-of-government Youth Strategy (to be released late 2021).
The Salvation Army submission brings together the experience of our housing, homelessness, family and domestic violence, and youth services staff, as well as the voice of our clients. We also reflect on the policy landscape to highlight some of the actions required to enable and deliver growth in social housing in Victoria and empower people to access social housing, and sustain tenancies. Our belief is that a person-centred approach is needed to design and deliver affordable housing that provides options and is responsive to individuals’ needs.
The submission recommends the strategy address the need for:
- A state strategy to deliver affordable housing, while noting that some levers (such as the rate of JobSeeker and the Commonwealth Rental Allowance) are Commonwealth responsibilities.
- Person-centred solutions, especially the needs of cohorts of people most at risk of homelessness.
- Policy and funding to account for the needs of young people, including ensuring appropriate support as well as in terms of early intervention.
- Pathways out of emergency accommodation services and the importance of early intervention models to prevent homelessness.
The Victorian Government is continuing to develop the Ten-Year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy, and the final strategy is expected to be released in late 2021. The Salvation Army is continuing to advocate on behalf of all Australians to safe, and affordable housing for all Australians.