Vic invests a colossal $5.3bn into social housing

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THE Victorian government will invest an unprecedented $5.3 billion in public and community housing, which will also give the construction sector a major boost, creating over 40,000 jobs in the post-COVID economic recovery.

The Big Housing Build policy is the biggest ever investment in public and community housing in Australia’s history. It will construct more than 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria, as well create 10,000 jobs per year over the next four years.

The government said the initiative will supercharge the state’s economic recovery through the pandemic and beyond, as well as boost the social housing supply by 10% in just four years.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the investment will change lives, giving thousands of people of the security and stability of a home, as well as create jobs for tens of thousands of Victorians.

“It’s a profound investment in a stronger, fairer Victoria – a Victoria that recognises everyone deserves a place to call home.” Premier Andrews said.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said this is an unprecedented housing blitz that will generate an estimated $6.7 billion in economic activity and supporting a peak of more than 18,000 jobs – with 10% of the work on major projects to be done by apprentices, cadets and trainees.

“We’re delivering the biggest investment in social housing Victoria has ever seen – we’re not just investing in bricks and mortar, but the lives of Victorians for decades to come.” Wynne said.

The Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Emma King called the announcement a “gamechanger”.

“This colossal investment will mean fewer people cold, hungry and homeless, and more people in work. It’s that simple.

“A single investment of this scale has not been seen in many decades, if ever. It’s a gamechanger.” King said.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence said the investment was a trifecta in addressing homelessness, increasing housing supply and providing jobs.

The investment will deliver 9,300 new social housing homes – including replacing 1,100 old public housing units. It will also help Aboriginal Victorians, pensioners, Victorians with disability, family violence victims and single parent families find their feet. Of these new homes, 2,000 will be for Victorians living with mental illness.

A further 2,900 new affordable and low-cost homes will be built to help low-to-moderate income earners live closer to where they work and provide options for private rental.

The new homes will meet seven-star energy efficiency standards, saving tenants on their power bills.

Hundreds of new jobs will be created for women, Aboriginal Victorians, people with disability, social housing tenants and people from diverse backgrounds through social procurement targets.

Combined with new housing from existing investments such as the Public Housing Renewal Program and Social Housing Growth Fund, construction of more than 15,800 new homes will begin over the next four years.

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