News that the Federal Government’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund is set to pass parliament has been welcomed by the sector. Haven Home Safe CEO Trudi Ray has shared some insights regarding what needed in regional Victoria and how we can come together to deliver housing on the ground. 

 A housing reset is required for regional and rural Victoria. With 7 million people living in the regional environment of Australia, the lack of housing in our regional and rural areas should command more attention from policy makers as the flow on effects are stymieing economic development. 

Victoria has had a great start in terms of the regional investment through the State Government’s Big Housing Build. This funding has meant we can build in more regional areas and partner to attract diverse funding streams to further amplify the impact. It’s been critical for us to look at innovative ways to build quality housing in regional areas because of the nuanced challenges in terms of supply, product, and contractors. It is a great relief that we have the Housing Australia Future Fund on the table, but now we need to turn our attention to how we’re going to deliver these programs on the ground.  

When building in regional and rural areas we work with partners across the sector in terms of what’s needed in local communities. Some of the key considerations in deploying this funding effectively throughout the regions include: 

  • The need for density and density done well.  
  • Removing hold ups at the local government level where there are still a lot of largely unfounded objections from community around the housing that we’re trying to provide.  
  • Housing diversity that meets differing needs.  
  • Making sure local government planning works in tandem with the need for social and affordable housing 
  • A variety of different building methods to rapidly create that pipeline of housing.  

We recognise it’s not a quick fix, but we know the levers to pull to make this happen.  

Some of the best housing models are coming out of the community housing sector. There are some really innovative ways we are creating community through placemaking principles, measuring and reporting on our impact through ESG frameworks and building high end, quality homes in partnership with the community.  

With a shortage of 36,000 social and affordable homes regionally, this funding presents a huge opportunity. The regions are the lifeblood of Australia, and we absolutely need to be investing in our regional people. When we get the housing supply right, we will start to see the flow on benefits in terms of regional productivity and community connectedness. 

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