Thursday, December 7, 2023

Retirement Living Council welcomes Victorian housing plan

The Retirement Living Council has welcomed today’s release of the Victorian Government’s Housing Statement, which outlines a plan to deliver millions of additional homes across Victoria – but says retirement communities must be part of the solution.  

RLC Executive Director, Daniel Gannon said the plan was a positive step for Victoria.

“Ambitious plans are important, and so are effective and efficient planning systems that provide affordable homes for those who need them,” Mr Gannon said.

“We know the average price of a two-bedroom retirement unit in metropolitan Melbourne is 51% cheaper than the median house price in similar areas.

“But the problem isn’t affordability, it’s supply.

“If this ambitious plan from the Victorian Government puts an end to retirement operators waiting up to five years for development applications to be approved, then this is great news for industry.”

Mr Gannon said that for too long, planning systems have held up supply and unnecessarily driven up costs for developers through extensive delays.

“Given the number of Victorians over the age of 65 is forecast to grow by 650,000 over the next 20 years, much work needs to be done to bring more appropriate and affordable housing to market,” he said.

“It is critical that governments understand these opportunities as it plans for the significant increase of older Victorians and aims to keep the aged care sector operational.

“The population shift forecast by the 2023 Intergenerational Report will have socio-economic impacts on the nation, including the housing supply shortage and the pressure on an already struggling residential aged care sector.

“The great Australian dream of home ownership can become a reality for tens of thousands of additional Victorians under the right circumstances – and it starts and ends with an effective planning system.” 

The State Government’s Housing Statement – The Decade Ahead 2024-2034 sets a bold target to build 800,000 new homes — 80,000 a year — across the state over the next 10 years, delivered through an Affordability Partnership with the housing industry.

The Housing Statement focuses on five key areas to tackle the root of the problem – housing supply:

  1. Good decisions, made faster: reforming Victoria’s planning system, clearing the backlog of planning permits, giving builders, buyers and renovators certainty about how long approvals will take – and a clear pathway to resolve issues quickly if those timeframes aren’t met
  2. Cheaper housing, closer to where you work: unlocking new spaces to stop urban sprawl, building more homes closer to where people have the transport, roads, hospitals and schools they need and delivering vital, basic community infrastructure
  3. Protecting renters’ rights: closing loopholes that drive up the cost of living for renters, giving tenants more certainty over their leases, living standards and finances, and resolving disputes faster to keep them out of VCAT
  4. More social housing: rapidly accelerating the rollout of social and affordable homes across Victoria and launching Australia’s biggest urban renewal project across Melbourne’s 44 high-rise social housing towers
  5. A long-term housing plan: delivering a long-term plan to guide how our state grows in the decades ahead, and reviewing the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to build a planning system that works with Victorians – not against them.

“The status quo is not an option, and admiring the problem will only make it worse. Unless we take bold and decisive action now, Victorians will be paying the price for generations to come,” said Premier, Daniel Andrews.

“Whether you’re buying your first place, upsizing or downsizing as life changes, or renting – the work we’re doing will mean there’ll be a place you can afford, and that you can call home.”

Latest Articles