The key statistics around community housing in Victoria
- 2007 Victorian Growth Strategy - 1733 properties to be completed by June 2010 but deadline set back slightly due to Nation Building. The vast majority of these properties should be delivered by December.
- Nation Building – will add 3000 community housing properties in Victoria by July 2011
- National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) – 3000 incentives approved for Victoria, of which approximately 1300 are community homes
- Community housing organisations currently manage more than 12,000 properties in Victoria. Once the above properties come on line around 17,000 properties will be managed by community housing organisations.
- The National Housing Supply Council 2010 report estimates that the net gap between housing supply and underlying demand grew to 178,400 dwellings by 2009 – and is due to worsen dramatically. This represents an estimated gap of 22,700 properties in Victoria alone [NHSC 2010 Report, Table A4.2]
- Over the next four years, the NHSC estimates that on current trends, by 2014 the cumulative shortfall will be 308,000 dwellings nationally and about 32,000 dwellings in Victoria [NHSC 2010 Report, Table A4.2]
- The NHSC notes that over 75% of rental properties that were affordable for lower income households in 2007-08 were in fact occupied by households in higher income groups (that is, downward pressure from households on good incomes but locked out of home ownership) leaving a shortfall of around 493,000 dwellings that were both affordable and available for those in the bottom 40 per cent of the income distribution [ Note: The downward pressure is from those who can afford a mortgage but are unable to purchase a home and are forced to rent instead, generally because they can’t save enough for the deposit as this keeps going up as house prices escalate (eg median deposit required for Melbourne home purchase is now over $50,000). The pressure does not come from defaulting homeowners.]
- $5.2B nationally has been invested in new affordable housing over the last two years under the Nation Building Stimulus Package, and in Victoria this represents about $750m in new community housing through until June 2011.
- These figures are just for Nation Building construction and don’t include the $400m in Nation Building social housing upgrades.
- There’s also over $1B Commonwealth commitment to NRAS and the $400m National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing, not to mention other investments such as $4.6b in remote Aboriginal housing, $389m National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, around $400m on the Housing Affordability Fund and approximately $100m on ‘A Place To Call Home’.
- Total Commonwealth investment in affordable housing (ie, public housing and community housing) is therefore conservatively at least $10B.
Community housing sector benefits
- In comparison to other high profile stimulus-funding failures, the Federal Government’s funding of community housing has been an excellent investment.
- The recent Victorian Auditor General’s report showed that the 1733 new properties funded under the 2007 Victorian Growth Strategy cost taxpayers an average $190,000 per dwelling compared to $250,000 per dwelling for public housing.
National Rental Affordability Scheme
A 10 year private rental subsidy scheme targeted to construct approximately 12,500 new houses in Victoria by 2012. As a subsidy scheme, Victorian-based Housing Associations have been granted a solid share of new housing approvals in this scheme.
National Building Stimulus Package
A Federal Government investment of approximately $750m has been made available for community housing in Victoria and is anticipated to fund in excess of 3,500 dwellings. In addition, a proportion of public housing properties are expected to be transferred to community housing sector management under this funding program.