Homes for Victorians
As part of the Victorian Government’s housing strategy – Homes for Victorians – planning system initiatives and reforms will be introduced to help address our housing challenges.
These initiatives and reforms will help ensure housing supply can meet demand and facilitate the supply of more social housing and other affordable housing. They will be developed and implemented over the next five years with a combined commitment of more than $58 million.
The refreshed Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 will provide a clear framework that encourages affordability and access, and ensures Melbourne grows in the right places over the coming decades. This includes focusing growth in the central city, activity centres, urban renewal areas, and the outer urban growth areas.
The urban growth boundary will be maintained to ensure that urban sprawl is contained, and sequenced development of greenfield areas will mean new communities have the infrastructure and services they need as they develop.
The review of residential zones will support Plan Melbourne by protecting neighbourhood character while facilitating appropriate development in strategic locations.
Regional Growth Plans
Growth in Victoria’s regions is being guided by 8 Regional Growth Plans that provide direction for land use and development, and have been endorsed by all 48 regional councils. Planning for future regional communities will see housing, jobs, transport and community facilities developed in coordination when and where they are needed.
The Victorian Planning Authority will work closely on planning for regional growth with councils and the nine Regional Partnerships, which bring together local stakeholders, businesses and community leaders. One of the goals will be the release of new urban land in Victoria’s regional cities and to create quality urban environments in existing towns which together attract jobs and investment.
Progress under the Regional Growth Plans is well advanced in a number of key regional cities and towns, and additional funding is being provided to many regional councils through the Victorian Planning Authority’s Streamlining for Growth program. As part of this program, Precinct Structure Plans have recently been completed for new housing areas in Moe, Drouin and Warragul and work is underway in Torquay, Shepparton and Wodonga.
The Victorian Planning Authority is also supporting Bendigo Council in the development of Plan Bendigo. This plan will see the redevelopment of sites near the heart of the city, a new future suburb near Maiden Gully, and an employment precinct at Marong.
Speeding up local government planning decisions
New projects take more time if there are planning delays. The supply of housing slows down and planning is more expensive.
There are many possible causes for planning delays. They include long approval times for subdivision plans, local roads, drainage, water, energy and telecommunication services.
A Victorian Planning Authority pilot Streamlining for Growth, has supported local councils to reduce delays in approvals.
Increasing development opportunities
Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 sets out the principles and planning rules that need to be applied to ensure we make the best use of available land.
Active planning is underway to make better use of land no longer required for its previous industrial land use. These urban renewal areas include Fishermans Bend, Docklands, and Arden Macaulay. The Victorian Government is developing plans for each of these precincts in collaboration with local councils, stakeholders, and communities.
The delivery of these urban renewal areas will result in more housing for Victorians in locations that are close to jobs, transport, schools, and essential services.
Land supply in Melbourne's growth areas
To ensure ongoing land supply in Melbourne’s outer suburban growth areas, the Victorian Planning Authority is working with councils to complete land use planning for all of these areas. These plans will ensure that as these areas grow, their communities are provided with the employment, community, and transport infrastructure they need in coordination with the release of new housing lots.
Current land zoned for development will accommodate around 200,000 lots – or enough for about 10 years supply. A further 17 Precinct Structure Plans that are currently being developed will deliver an additional 100,000 lots of zoned land by December 2018.
Find out about the Victorian Planning Authority’s Precinct Structure Plans.
Increasing supply of social and affordable housing
There is a growing desire among local councils to apply affordable housing provisions as part of both rezoning land, and permit applications in major developments. Local councils and developers are increasingly proposing new and innovative ways to deliver social housing and other forms of affordable housing.
These proposals include ways to harness the substantial increase in land value that can come from rezoning and other planning controls to deliver a community benefit such as affordable housing.
An Inclusionary housing pilot uses surplus government land to deliver up to 100 new social housing homes across 6 sites.
Surplus government land is being identified and facilitated through the Government Land Planning Service, with a focus on delivering planning certainty including rezoning and development potential, and establishing partnerships with private sector developers to deliver new housing. We expect a proportion of social housing in the developments.
Find out about the Inclusionary housing pilot.
Social housing redevelopments
Homes for Victorians committed a program of investment into social housing and to reduce homelessness. The Department of Health and Human Service is redeveloping ageing public housing estates into better connected, mixed-tenure neighbourhoods where people can live in housing that is safe and meets modern standards as part of its Public housing renewal.
The planning approval process will be improved to deliver social housing, sooner. The redevelopment of public housing estates goes through a streamlined planning approval process facilitated by an advisory committee process. This approach will ensure that good design, public consultation, and consistent decision making support the timely delivery of social housing projects.
More information about Social housing renewal projects.
Affordable Housing in Planning
From 1 June 2018, the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) included an objective ‘to facilitate the provision of affordable housing in Victoria.’
Affordable housing is housing, including social housing, that is appropriate for the needs of very low-, low- and moderate-income households.
A Governor in Council Order forms part of the definition of affordable housing under the Act. The Order specifies the income ranges for very low, low and moderate-income households for affordable housing that is not social housing. A Ministerial Notice specifies matters relevant to determining whether affordable housing is appropriate. The income ranges specified in the Order can be found below.
Social and Affordable Housing Contribution
The government has announced that the legislation that would have introduced the Social and Affordable Housing Contribution is not proceeding.
Access the media release
Resources for facilitating affordable housing