Council weighs multi-million social housing land transfer

A regional Victorian council is considering transferring council-owned land worth more than $3.6 million for social housing.

Trent Sullivan

Councillors at City of Greater Geelong are expected to give the green light on Tuesday to launch a period of public consultation on the proposal to hand over three parcels of land that have been identified as suitable.

Council will seek feedback on the views of local residents and the wider community from Wednesday if the recommendation is endorsed.

It comes as the City faces high rental stress and growing demand for social and affordable housing, Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan says.

Cr Sullivan says there are currently 3,300 households living in social housing in Greater Geelong but some 10,000 families are currently in need, and demand is expected to grow to 17,000 by 2041.

“Paying rent is a struggle for many people and it can result in financial stress, homelessness, and having to move away from family, friends, employment, education and support networks,” he said.

“There is a shared responsibility to identify land that’s suitable for social housing, including all levels of government and the development community.”

Benefits for the community

Social Housing Chair, Councillor Sarah Mansfield, said increasing the supply of social housing could support vulnerable community members and deliver benefits for the entire community.

“Our region is growing which means the demand for social housing is growing across our region too,” Cr Mansfield said.

“There are many people who are working and earning money but are not able to afford the extremely high costs of private rental in many areas across the region.”

Social housing plan

The use of council-owned land for social housing is identified as an option in the City’s 2020-2024 Social Housing Plan.

The plan aims to increase  the supply of social housing from three to seven per cent of total households by 2031, an estimated increase of 6,000 dwellings, with another 6,000 by 2041.

As well as providing council land for social housing, the strategy proposes amending the local planning scheme to require the inclusion of social and affordable housing in developments on City’s owned land.

It also recommends maximsing state and commonwealth investment and , and supporting the inclusion of mandatory planning controls in state legislation.

The plan notes that there is “significant land supply in Geelong and the municipality is not ‘locked’ by adjacent populated municipalities”.

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4 thoughts on “Council weighs multi-million social housing land transfer

    1. Rent assistance is a way better alternative to costly bureaucratic government owned housing subsidised by overtaxed ratepayers. Where’s the cost benefit analysis?

  1. Both the above comments are fair comments. When you look however at the big picture we as a society are all responsible to ensure that people have a roof over their head that is affordable whatever economic circumstances they are in . This includes all levels of Government who manage many aspects of the economy. Having a roof over your head brings many social/health/mental and economic benefits to all to the downstream issues associated with that stated.This more than pays for the cost of housing in the longer run and ensures all citizens can reach their full potential

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