The Affordable Housing Strategy was adopted by the City of Casey at its Council meeting on 15 December, 2020.
The City of Casey is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Victoria.
Council has the long-term vision of making Casey Australia’s most liveable city where all of Casey residents have access to secure, appropriate, and affordable housing.
Affordable housing is a key element of a liveable city - an essential infrastructure.
- In the City of Casey, there are people who are experiencing housing stress, overcrowding, insecure housing or who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Casey’s Affordable Housing Strategy sets out how Council responds to this issue.
- Research into the current and forecast need for affordable housing in the City of Casey has demonstrated an existing and forecast shortfall of affordable housing, including social housing.
Importance of affordable and social housing
Affordable housing is ‘housing including social housing that is appropriate for the housing needs of very low, low and moderate income households’, as defined under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
Social housing is ‘public housing and housing owned, controlled or managed by a participating registered agency’, as defined under the Housing Act 1983.
Social housing is for people in our community with low incomes who need housing. Social housing tenants are often supported by other services to help them get back on their feet or improve their quality of life. Similar to other types of rental properties, tenants pay rent, although it is set at a rate they can afford to pay.
Social housing supports community members in need to be able to access housing. This is critical within the City of Casey as the population has a diverse range of needs.
Affordable housing shortfall
Research on the need for affordable housing has demonstrated an existing shortfall of more than 5,500 affordable houses. Without efforts to address this, by 2041 this shortfall is forecast to grow to 10,200 affordable houses.
This shortfall affects an increasing number of very low and moderate income and vulnerable residents who do not have access to affordable housing appropriate for their income level. The Affordable Housing Strategy has been prepared by Council in response to this research.
The Strategy outlines Council's policy position and role in advocating, partnering and facilitating affordable housing in Casey.
The purpose of the Strategy is to:
- establish and detail Council’s roles in increasing the supply of affordable housing,
- guide the planning of future affordable housing, and,
- inform an action plan that guides and monitors Council’s implementation of the Strategy.
Access to appropriate and secure housing is a necessity and a basic requirement for everyone in the community under the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986, Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Human Rights Commission; but also an essential infrastructure of ensuring a safe, accessible and thriving community.
To increase the supply of affordable housing in the City of Casey, Council identified three strategic principles in this Strategy:
The three strategic principles are implemented through actions, which consider homelessness, affordable housing investment, policy and legislative change, awareness-raising, and data and research capacity building.
What Council is doing
Council is actively working to address the shortfall of affordable housing in Casey. Our current actions include:
Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness
A submission was made on behalf of Council to advocate that all Victorians have the right to access appropriate housing, and it is the responsibility of all levels of governments to work together to eliminate homelessness in our state.
The submission focuses on the current and future states of homelessness in the City of Casey and the housing market factors that contribute to the growing rates of homelessness in the municipality.
Further information on this inquiry can be found on the Parliament of Victoria’s website.
Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter
The Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Charter was adopted by Council at its 21 July 2020 meeting.
The Charter is a commitment by 13 Councils to cooperate regionally and address the urgent need for increased social housing and a more effective, integrated and supported homelessness service system.
Casey Homelessness and Social Inclusion Network
The Casey Homelessness and Social Inclusion Network provides housing support agencies and service providers the opportunity to collaborate and address issues of financial hardship and homelessness across the region.
If you are a homelessness service provider and want to join or ask about the network, contact our Access and Inclusion Officer on (03) 9705 5200.
Planning Permit Applications and Planning Scheme Amendments
Council is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing in the municipality. Council is working with landowners and developers to secure affordable housing as part of planning permit or rezoning proposals.
When a permit is issued, or land is rezoned, there is an uplift in the value of that land. Recognising the significant demand for affordable housing in Casey and reflecting the new objective in the Planning and Environment Act 1987, we are seeking to share some of that uplift with the community through the provision of affordable housing.
To guide planning permit applicants and planning scheme amendment proponents, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) have developed a suite of resources to negotiate Affordable Housing Agreements (AHAs), as follows:
- Fact sheet: A guide for developers
- Fact sheet: Understanding the community housing sector
- Toolkit for Planners
Further information can be found on MAV’s website.
Big Housing Build
In November 2020, Victoria’s Big Housing Build was announced committing a historic $5.3 billion to construct more than 12,000 new social and affordable homes across Victoria. The City of Casey has been identified as a priority area where affordable housing including social housing is urgently needed.
The new Homes Victoria department that will oversee and manage all housing assets, the development of new affordable houses and facility improvements.
Contact our Project Action Group via emailing AffordableHousing@casey.vic.gov.au.
For housing support, please contact Launch Housing Dandenong (free call, 24 hours) on 1800 825 955.