New planning regulations between councils and developers to support the roll-out of affordable housing has been released by the Victorian Labor government.
The new system comes through the Planning and Building Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability and Other Matters) Act 2017 and aims to make the delivery of affordable housing in major developments, particularly social housing, easier.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the new rules make it easier for councils and developers to negotiate voluntary agreements to include affordable homes in residential developments.
“We’re now providing consistency for developers and councils,” Wynne said.
The announcement of the planning reform comes as state government, who face re-election this November, said the previous system caused uncertainty about the legal validity of agreements between councils and developers, consequently missing affordable housing development opportunities.
“Whether it’s boosting land supply for housing or providing stamp duty cuts for first time buyers, we’re giving every Victorian the opportunity to find a house to call home.”
Related reading: Federal Budget 2018: Infrastructure, Investment and Build to Rent
Build-to-rent solution to affordable housing issue: UDIA
Speaking at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s conference last week, Wynne said build-to-rent projects such as “key worker housing” for “people in that middle bracket who can’t afford home ownership at the moment” was a potential solution to the affordable housing issue.
Australia currently lags behind the US and UK in taking up the build-to-rent model, however the build-to-rent trend has seen a surge of enthusiasm over the past year.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen pledged to work with the property industry to resolve tax related issues with built-to-rent incentives last week, criticising Scott Morrison for delays in addressing the issue.
“The benefits of the build to rent are obvious, it will increase housing supply and increase the stock of rental accommodation- that’s got to be a good thing,” Morrison said.
Speaking at the UDIA conference, Wynne also said Melbourne has the highest growth rate of any city in the developed world.
“We think there are enormous continuing opportunities (for development) available in those middle-ring suburbs which are rich in amenity, public transport and are great places to live,” he said.