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Affordable housing

Council is seeking stronger planning powers to encourage and facilitate the delivery of affordable housing in Bayside and the ability to zone land to require developers to provide affordable housing.

The issue

Significant population growth and a strong property market is creating pressure on housing affordability and access, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our community.

The rate of home ownership is dropping across all age groups and there is likely to be significant demand for affordable housing for moderate-low income households who want to live close to their work, their family, and existing community ties.

Without increases in the supply of well-located and well-designed affordable housing the long term impact for Bayside could result in:

  • Increased housing stress for purchasers, private tenants and the increase in insecure housing such as unregistered rooming houses, couch surfing and homelessness
  • Very limited to non-existing housing options that support the needs of our community’s different life stages whilst allowing them to stay close to family, friends and community connection
  • Social and community housing developments that are not well integrated and result in disadvantage enclaves that do not support community cohesion and access to services and opportunities for the most vulnerable members of our community
  • Renovation and property improvements, generally attracting residents with higher socio-economic characteristics and displacing more vulnerable households such as private tenants with low incomes.

Council recognises the need to address current and future housing needs with a focus on residents who are insecurely housed in Bayside and people at risk of being displaced by high housing costs. Those in most need are:

  • Tenants/young professionals who are unlikely to ever accumulate the resources for a deposit to buy property in the municipality
  • Key workers and community members that will eventually have no option but to live far away from work and aging parents
  • Elderly residents who are asset rich, but income poor, and at times subject to financial abuse relating to property
  • Residents who are on waiting lists for public or community housing and or displaced due to the demolition and renewal of their current place of residency
  • Residents who worry about the housing opportunities for their children and grandchildren

The opportunity

Council can play an important role in facilitating the provision of affordable housing stock in private development within Bayside via its planning role. Council is seeking support from the state government in the form of stronger planning powers and controls to encourage delivery of affordable housing by the private sector. This includes:

  • The ability to zone land that is well supported by transport links and services to require developers to provide affordable housing within their developments or contribute funding for affordable housing
  • Incentives to attract and engage the private sector to deliver affordable and accessible housing via partnerships with community housing associations, charitable or community organisations.
  • Encouragement for private developers to establish agreements with community housing organisations to manage affordability within new developments.

This model would assist to maximise the contribution made by each sector based on their skills, experience, and networks:

  • Councils can focus on creating the planning provisions and regulatory environment that encourages/requires affordable housing
  • Developers can focus on designing and constructing new dwellings
  • The community housing sector can focus on owning and managing the properties.