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Bass Coast Shire Council to tackle housing crisis with new Affordable Housing Strategy

Bass Coast Affordable Housing Strategy addresses the housing crisis in Victoria, focusing on affordability, homelessness, and community collaboration, advocating for partnerships and government support to provide affordable housing in the region.

By news@gippsland - 25th September 2023 - Back to News

Bass Coast Shire Council has developed an Affordable Housing Strategy to facilitate increased affordable housing throughout Bass Coast where it is most needed and close to essential services. The Strategy demonstrates council's commitment to address the clear and immediate need for more affordable housing in Bass Coast and build inclusive communities that support health, wellbeing and connection.

Community and sector feedback shapes the strategy, ensuring alignment with local needs. It forms a robust platform for partnerships in housing provision

Community and sector feedback shapes the strategy, ensuring alignment with local needs. It forms a robust platform for partnerships in housing provision

Housing crisis deepens

The deepening crisis in housing affordability and availability across Victoria is increasingly impacting individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet and are at risk of homelessness, as well as impacting local communities where housing for key essential workers is a growing concern.

The Bass Coast Affordable Housing Strategy provides a strong platform for advocacy and partnerships across community, housing sector and all tiers of government to meet the affordable housing challenge. Very low, low and moderate-income households across Bass Coast are experiencing rental and mortgage stress at higher rates than Gippsland and regional Victoria averages, with 83.5% of very-low income households in the Bass Coast Shire experience rental stress, along with 52.7% of low-income and 50.7% of moderate-income households.

In Bass Coast, older single women are the largest growing cohort of people in need in our community and family violence continues to be a strong driver of homelessness in the community.

Housing strategy implementation

The Bass Coast Affordable Housing Strategy draws on the Bass Coast Housing Story Report, which found there was a dire shortfall in social and affordable housing in the region compared to local need. 733 households in Bass Coast - 5.1% of households in the shire - require an affordable roof over their heads, as of the end of 2022.

By strengthening partnerships and advocacy for community needs, council will seek to build on the $25 million guaranteed expenditure in the Shire through the Victorian government's Big Housing Build. This funding has already seen seven homes completed in the Shire, with an additional 30 underway, creating 125 local jobs.

Government partnerships expand

Recent announcements from the state and federal government provide further opportunities for partnerships to address local affordable housing needs and will form the basis of council's advocacy in line with the Strategy.

Local partnerships and community-led collaboration are central to council's approach to reduce homelessness in Bass Coast and facilitate more affordable housing. An upcoming Homelessness Think Tank facilitated in partnership with Rotary will provide an opportunity for further collaboration and local-level action to reduce the impact and incidence of homelessness in the Shire.

Community-driven strategy

Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan. said, "Feedback from the community and sector contributors has been incorporated into the final draft of the Strategy to ensure that it aligns with the needs and perspectives of the community. The Strategy provides a strong platform for partnerships with community, state and federal government and community housing organisations to bring needed affordable housing to the Shire."

"Housing affordability is a key priority for council and links in with councils Healthy Communities Plan 2021-25. We are focused heavily on increasing affordable housing and supporting people with the need for safe, secure and affordable housing in the community."

"Council has identified three primary roles for council. We will support advocacy, engagement and partnerships across the sector, leverage the land use planning system to deliver affordable housing, and make council owned land available for affordable housing, where appropriate. The strategy identifies key objectives, policies and actions across each of these roles. In addition, with the construction of more dwellings this will create more jobs and economic growth in our region," said Cr Michael Whelan.

Pictures from Bass Coast Shire Council Facebook page.


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