Affordable Housing update


G21 is keen to improve housing affordability in the region for both social and economic reasons. We are all aware of the problem in gaining a workforce in towns such as Lorne because of the cost of housing. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg and the affordability of housing is at an all time low.

The G21 Affordable Housing Taskforce chaired by Pat Semmens has moved on two fronts to tackle this issue. Firstly, you would be aware that G21, with the support of the City of Greater Geelong and our local MPs Darren Cheeseman and Richard Marles, staged a forum on the issue at which both Federal Minister Tania Plibersek and State Minister Justin Maddern spoke.

In parallel with this, G21 sought expressions of interest for one of the eight current Registered Housing Associations to partner with the region in accessing State and Federal funds and delivering projects in the area. We are currently finalising an agreement that will see the registering of a local subsidiary of the successful tenderer and opening of a local office. Several projects are already being developed.

Housing Associations are an interesting approach to this issue. During our interviews, they pointed out that they took a holistic view of their clients. For example, they support activities that encourage a sense of community and often employed their clients to provide services in their developments.

G21 has also submitted an application for funding under the Federal Housing Affordability Fund that would see land releases brought forward in a number of projects across the region. This has the potential to greatly reduce land costs and thus the costs of building a home in these locations.