Every Victorian needs a safe and affordable place to live, in a community that provides opportunity to flourish. The market alone is unable to meet that need and governments at all levels must work together with the private and not-for-profit sectors to help achieve it. Melbourne’s shortage of affordable housing has reached chronic levels. This crisis has multiple causes, including the loss of purchasing power in the housing market experienced by a diverse and growing number of households. Household incomes, especially for renter households, have not kept pace with the growth of house prices and rents. As a result, many Melbournians have very limited housing options, and spend an unacceptably high proportion of income on housing costs, leaving little left to cover other basic needs. Established and entrenched means of housing provision have been unable to accommodate rapid and diverse household growth in a sustainable and affordable way. Simply increasing the supply of housing does not make it more affordable or well matched to housing need. Not enough housing or the right type of housing has been produced to accommodate the sustained growth in the number of households in metropolitan Melbourne or to meet the specific needs of low-income households. New alternatives are required.
SOURCE: “Affordable housing for all: towards an integrated housing strategy for Victoria”, Transforming Housing, Melbourne School of Design, December 2016
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