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Vic Government announces biggest public housing project in Australian history

The Victorian Government has announced a historic $5.3 billion social housing project that will create 43,000 jobs and see over 12,000 public houses built.

Premier Daniel Andrews called the project “the biggest boost to social and affordable housing in the history of our country”, noting the numerous knock-on effects of such a large-scale plan.

“This is all about securing livelihoods, many, many jobs and giving the construction industry the certainty they need after a very challenging year,” Mr Andrews said.

“Each of those 10,000 workers a year, for each of the next four years, with the certainty of that pipeline of work, can spend, can invest, that’s all about creating economic activity and economic benefit for every single Victorian.”

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the package, noting its members are “ready, willing and able to help” in the program’s delivery. 

“The Property Council’s pre-budget submission advocated for a program in which government and the private sector partner to deliver government-funded social housing assets and we are pleased that the Government has delivered,” Victorian Interim Executive Director, Matthew Kandelaars said.

“Meaningful investment in social housing, delivered in partnership with the innovation and expertise that the private sector brings, will help to address an urgent need for social housing as well as economic activity and jobs.

“We encourage innovative delivery techniques – we want to see this program delivered as quickly as possible to get Victorians into work, and into homes.”

The Australian Institute of Architects is also behind the project, saying it will have “an enduring and transformative impact for generations”.

Institute CEO Julia Cambage said: “The monumental injection of some 12,000 new social housing homes is laudable not only for its sheer scale but also for the depth and breadth of the housing diversity and inclusion it promotes”.

“In making this unparalleled $5.3 billion investment the Andrews Government is both strengthening the Victorian economy and society by tackling, head-on, the issue of homelessness.

“It will deliver widespread economic stimulus while also helping rectify what has been a crippling shortage of affordable housing.

“Architects are the canary in the coalmine for the construction sector, a drop-off in design work inevitably heralds flow-on effects for numerous other trades and professions along the building chain,” Ms Cambage continued.

“This program will open up a pipeline of work that is desperately needed to facilitate a stronger recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

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