MEDIA RELEASE: Victoria boasts fastest growing need for social housing – but lowest proportion of demand being met

Media releases | Mar 13, 2019

Demand for social housing in Victoria is growing faster than any other state, yet it has the lowest proportion of its present need for social housing met, a new study released today shows.

The report by UNSW City Futures Research Centre found that demand for social housing in Melbourne is growing faster than any other capital city at 7.1% per year, while only 36.7% of the current need is being met – the lowest of any capital city.

The study also examined the need for affordable housing, which costs renters less than 30% of their income. Melbourne’s need for this housing far outstrips the rest of the state, with only 500 new affordable homes needed annually to meet demand outside the city, compared to 2,400 in Melbourne.

The greater Melbourne region will need 8,800 new social and affordable rental homes every year and 176,800 by 2036 to keep up with demand and population growth.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said the new figures show Australia’s housing crisis is still real for everyday households:

  • More than 166,200 social housing homes will be needed in Victoria over the next 20 years for households in chronic rental stress and low incomes
  • Another 59,500 affordable rental homes will be needed for moderate income households struggling in the private rental market.
  • More than 60% of households who desperately need social housing in Melbourne aren’t getting it due to lack of homes
  • Victoria will need 225,600 new social and affordable rental homes by 2036

“This study shows that communities in Victoria desperately need all political parties to step up with solutions to fixing the broken housing system for local households who are doing it tough,” Ms Colvin said.

“Capital city house prices may have softened in recent months but in Melbourne and in many parts of Victoria they’re still among the least affordable in the world and well out of reach of ordinary people who are already locked out of the market.”

“Right now, Victoria has the worst record on social housing, with the lowest investment and the highest need of any other state.

Ahead of the Federal election, the Everybody’s Home campaign is asking all parties to support a plan to:

  1. Prioritise home buyers by reducing negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions – and use the revenue it raises to help fund more social and affordable housing options for ordinary Australians
  2. Develop a national strategy for providing 500,000 social and affordable rental homes
  3. Support renters by ending no grounds evictions and unfair rent rises
  4. Provide immediate relief for Australians in chronic housing stress by increasing rent assistance to reflect increasing housing costs; and
  5. A real plan to end homelessness in Australia.

“Every level of government, state, federal and local, has a role to play in fixing our broken housing system,” Ms Colvin said.

“We’re seeking concrete commitments from all parties that they will make it a priority ahead of the federal election to fix the broken housing system and make sure everybody in Australia has a home, whether they own it or not.”