In June 2018, the State government changed planning legislation to make affordable housing a ‘legitimate planning purpose’. This means that Councils can now have a role in facilitating social and affordable housing through the planning system. In September 2018, Council endorsed a Statement of Commitment on Affordable Housing, which formalised our intent to take action to encourage social and affordable housing in Glen Eira. One of the reasons for Council’s interest in this area is that housing stress is evident in Glen Eira. We have the least amount of social housing of any municipality in Greater Melbourne.
Council sought the ideas and views of the community about what Council should do to facilitate affordable and social housing in Glen Eira. We have now completed two rounds of community engagement on this topic.
The first round of community engagement was held during March and April 2019. We developed a Discussion Paper on social and affordable housing, which outlined the main issues and options. This was available online and in hard copy. We created a survey that was available on Have Your Say and hard copy, ran five pop-ups at community events and activity centres, held stakeholder forums and community focus groups. A total of 620 submissions were gathered.
You told us that:
- Housing affordability is an issue—more than half (56%) thought it was an issue to a ‘great/very large’ or ‘large’ extent
- The most important benefits from increasing social and affordable housing were nominated as ‘reducing relocation so people can maintain social networks and stay in the community’ and ‘providing housing suited to specific groups in need’
- The households you believe are experiencing household stress and needing support are one parent families and a couple families with child/ren
- When asked what types of dwelling these households require, the response was a variety of housing forms that are affordable and secure such as family housing, rooming houses, smaller spaces such as studio flats and one or two bedroom places, and places for homeless families
- When asked what can be done to contribute to additional social and affording housing in Glen Eira, the top three responses were inclusionary zoning policies, Council owned and managed housing, and direct government investment.
This feedback was used to create a draft Social and Affordable Housing Strategy. We sought feedback from the community and stakeholders on the draft Strategy during Stage 2 of the engagement in in June and July 2019. The feedback was used to inform the Social and Affordable Housing Strategy.
Council endorsed the Social and Affordable Housing Strategy on 16 October 2019. The recommendations from the Strategy will begin to be implemented in 2020.