A lack of affordable housing and worker accommodation has reached crisis point in many towns in the G21 region, including Apollo Bay, Colac, Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay and Winchelsea.
This is holding back economic development and essential community services in regional centres.
Teachers, bank managers, nurses, hospitality staff, artists and food processing workers are among those who are unable to access the housing market due to high rents and house prices, and lack of supply.
Employers are struggling to find workers. Businesses are reporting reduced hours of opening due to labour shortages and COVID impacts on customer numbers. Two councils, Surf Coast and Colac Otway, have declared a key worker accommodation emergency.
In coastal areas, the supply of existing and new housing stock is dominated by owners of holiday homes and investors in the short-stay accommodation market. There is an urgent need to increase the supply of low to high end rental and ownership accommodation for permanent and seasonal key workers from a range of industries across the region.
G21 is seeking support to convene an urgent summit with Victorian and Commonwealth Governments and a broad range of stakeholders to determine immediate and long-term solutions to the housing crisis.
What G21 needs
- Development of a National Housing Strategy to ensure all people can access affordable housing that meets their needs.
- An increase in the grant percentage of the National Housing and Infrastructure Finance Corporation (NHFIC) finance from 20% to 50% to regional councils, which generally have less financial capacity than their metropolitan counterparts.
- Support for Colac Otway Shire and Surf Coast Shire Councils to explore community land trusts as components of addressing social housing demand and their key worker accommodation crises.
- Big Housing Build funds to be used for affordable key worker housing in Colac Otway Shire and Surf Coast Shire.
- A regional forum with three levels of government and key stakeholders to determine practical immediate and long-term solutions to the affordable housing and worker accommodation crisis.
- Fast track short-term Precinct Structure Plans and infrastructure projects.
- Expand infrastructure planning capacity and capability in the region to cope with long-term growth.
A commitment to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.
Click here for an update on G21’s social housing project.