Victoria adds just 74 new public housing despite multi-billion dollar program

Victoria, Australia, has been slowly adding new public housing stock over the past four years, despite a multi-billion dollar program to boost public housing.

up to date annual report A study by the Victorian Department of Family, Justice and Housing found that the state will have a total social housing stock of 86,887 units by June 2022. 86,813 units Recorded 4 years ago.

While there was little improvement in the number of public housing available during the period, Victoria reported a sharp increase in the number of people applying for such services.

according to Holmes VictoriaIn June 2022, there were 64,168 applications for public housing. 44,000 June 2018.

The figure comes despite the Victorian government’s introduction of the Big Housing Build Program in 2020. The program was touted as Australia’s “largest ever investment” in public and community housing.

Big House Build Program Details

Victorian Labor, November 2020 government It announced that it will spend $5.3 billion (US$3.55 billion) to build more than 12,000 new homes statewide, with 25% of the funds allocated to rural areas.

This includes 9,300 new public housing for Indigenous Aborigines, pensioners, the disabled, victims of domestic violence and single-parent families, and 2,900 new affordable low-income housing for low- and middle-income households. Cost includes housing.

The program will also replace 1,100 old public housing units with new ones.

In particular, the Victorian government says the package will increase the state’s public housing supply by 10% by 2026.

In July 2022, victorian government announced that it has reached an intermediate milestone with 6,300 homes completed or in progress.

It also said more investment has been added to the program to enable the government to build at least 16,000 social and affordable housing by 2026.

What are the reasons for the modest increase in public housing stock?

Libby Porter, a professor at RMIT University’s Center for Urban Studies, said the results were disappointing as the government demolished old public housing.

“We are destroying many things [dwellings] At the same time we are building. ” she saidreported by the Guardian.

Additionally, Porter explained that the Big Housing Build project is not all about building new public housing in new neighborhoods.

It also included replacing old public housing with new ones with the participation of private developers.

Epoch Times photo
General view of the public housing towers seen from Morehead Street in Redfern, Sydney, Australia, 16 September 2021. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

By way of example, the professor said the government had demolished six public housing units in the suburbs of Ascotvale, Flemington, Hawthorne and Heidelberg, providing a total of 446 social housing units.

The government then replaced the estates with 540 private housing units and 500 public housing units, making a small profit at high prices.

“That’s a total net profit of 54 public housing across six sites at a cost of $532 million, or $9.85 million per house,” she said.

Porter believed the government would do better if it maintained and refurbished public housing rather than demolished and rebuilt.

RMIT modeling showed that such a plan would provide about 20,000 new units for a $5.3 billion investment, she said.

Economists believe building public housing is not the solution

Calls for more public housing have grown in recent years, but some economists don’t think that’s the right way to address the problem.

Peter Tulip, chief economist at the Sydney-based Independent Research Center, previously told The Epoch Times that public housing is an expensive and ineffective solution.

He points to the Labor Federal government’s pledge to build 30,000 new social housing over the next five years, a plan that would increase the national housing stock by only 0.3% and do little to address the housing problem. said.

However, such a move would place a heavy burden on Australian taxpayers.

“Typical public housing costs taxpayers about $15,000 a year,” Tulip said.

“This is a lot of money, especially because the spending targets are set so low that the most disadvantaged public housing occupants are relatively few.”

Additionally, economists said state and federal governments have come to realize that federal rental assistance (CRA) is more efficient, effective and fair than building public housing.

“The Henry report, the McClure report, and the recent Productivity Commission report all recommend that housing subsidies for the poor be made through CRA rather than public or social housing,” he said. told the Epoch Times.