Affordable Housing Voted Down

A motion put forward by a Victorian City Council to make it mandatory for development approvals to include affordable housing has been voted down at the Australian Local Government Association's National General Assembly.

Darebin City Council located in the inner northern region of Melbourne put forward a motion for a coordinated, national response to housing issues, incorporating all levels of government including “mandatory controls in planning schemes, in the form of inclusionary zoning, to require affordable housing contributions as part of private development”.

The motion said housing affordability has become “a critical issue in contemporary Australian society”.

“As house prices rise, increasing numbers of people, particularly those on low and very low incomes, are unable to enter the property market, and rely on private rental housing. In Darebin, 1.9 per cent of private rental stock is affordable to very low income earners.

“Demand for affordable rental housing adds to demand for government-subsidised housing. There are more than 80,000 people, including 20,000 children, on the waiting list for social housing in Victoria. Many commentators, and Council, believe housing in Australia is at a crisis point. All levels of government must take action to address declining housing affordability and the severe undersupply of affordable housing.”

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After a lengthy debate the motion was defeated 116 votes to 85.

Adrian Pisarski the Chief Executive Officer of National Shelter said it was a “poor outcome” pointing to a recent survey which showed there was high support to mandate inclusionary zoning.

The survey found voluntary inclusionary zoning is considered the least important mechanism for inclusionary zoning policies. The most popular option being mandatory inclusionary zoning. National leadership and a National Housing strategy were also deemed important.

In Western Australia some voluntary approaches to inclusionary zoning have occurred as Local Governments can very their development standards but inclusionary zoning in general is mostly limited in scope and hasn’t been rolled out across the State more widely. Under the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and Landcorp there is a policy on inclusionary zoning for specific areas.

Shelter WA Acting Chief Executive Lisa Kazalac said the result was "disappointing and a missed opportunity".

"Shelter WA is focused on advocating on how planning controls and reforms are needed to enable the development and increase of more affordable housing supply in our community," Ms Kazalac said.

 

 

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