The Victorian Government today announced a $5.3 billion investment into social housing, with a target of 12,000 new homes within four years. The funding will tackle homelessness, but also create jobs in our industry and is the first step in our sector’s role in leading the state’s economic recovery.
Master Builders Victoria has been advocating for this investment in discussions with the State Government over several months as a practical means to create jobs while delivering results on an important social issue. This represents a major win for our advocacy, with Government estimating the investment will create 10,000 jobs each year over the next four years. It is anticipated that 10% of the work will be done by apprentices, cadets and trainees. In addition, social procurement targets will ensure that hundreds of jobs are created for women, Aboriginal Victorians, people with a disability, social-housing tenants and people from diverse backgrounds.
The housing will include the construction of 9,300 social housing homes, and 2,900 ‘affordable homes’. 25% of the funding will be allocated to Regional Victoria, with priority areas being Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat. Across Melbourne, the first sites developed will be in West Heidelberg, Flemington, Hawthorn, Richmond, Ashburton and Ascot Vale. The new homes will meet 7-star energy efficiency standards, which will jump start the market for energy efficient homes.
The message is very clear from the Victorian Government; this investment in social housing will be delivered in partnership with our industry and make use of the innovation and expertise our sector has to offer. A new Government agency, Homes Victoria, has been established to work across government, industry and the social housing sector to deliver this initiative.
How Master Builders Victoria members can benefit
Over the coming weeks, we will provide more details on how the Big Housing Build will roll out and where our members can get involved, such as with tenders through Homes Victoria, or how you can put forward projects that are stalled.
The full media release from the Government can be read here
This morning, the advocacy by Master Builders Victoria was referenced as one of the catalysts for the investment in an article in The Age.
We also acknowledge the work of the Building Victoria’s Recovery Task Force, of which Master Builders Victoria and our members were involved, for its work in relation to this unprecedented investment.
Master Builders Victoria has today released a statement to media regarding the investment:
Statement by Master Builders Victoria on Social Housing Investment
Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson today praised the Victorian Government for its landmark investment in social housing.
“We welcome the announcement of the government’s record investment in social housing, it’s something Master Builders Victoria has been strongly advocating for.
We know Victoria will have to lean on the building and construction industry to lead the state’s economic recovery, so we have looked at how our industry can do that while also meeting other Government objectives – including further investment in regional Victoria, jobs for apprentices and more jobs created for women.
Homelessness is a complex issue that we don’t profess to be an authority on, but we know that investment in social housing, delivered in partnership with industry, can assist by providing greater options.
Though most of the building and construction industry has been able to stay safe and open since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 30,000 Victorians in our industry have lost their jobs since March. To get some of those back at work through this program, whilst providing places for the most vulnerable of our community to live in an enduring government asset, means everyone benefits.”
Master Builders Victoria has continued to advocate for a range of initiatives designed to stimulate the economy and which can also assist with other social and environmental issues. These include investment in social housing, energy efficiency building incentives and assistance for first home buyers as a way to lead the economic recovery.