MS PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (16:45:36):
My matter this evening is important but probably not as interesting as Mr Finn’s. It is for the Minister for Planning, and the action I seek is an expansion of the Inclusionary Housing pilot program that has been going on, as well as an increase in the social housing percentages. It is sad; it is a disgrace that Victoria spends less than any other state on public and community housing. Just 3.5 per cent of all dwellings fall into this category. This is despite Melbourne boasting over 200 hectares of government-owned land that could host 30 000 homes—and this is according to the University of Melbourne. So I am joining with a number of organisations, being the Victorian Council of Social Service, the Council to Homeless Persons, the Community Housing Industry Association Victoria, Domestic Violence Victoria, Tenants Victoria and the Victorian Public Tenants Association, to work alongside them in building 3000 extra homes each year—effectively a new Whittlesea each year. Now, this can be done by expanding how we use public land, but it can also be expanded in lots of more novel ways like build-to-rent programs or by setting incentives for developers to introduce social housing into their developments. There is a whole range of tools and levers that we have. But we have to act now. At the moment the government has announced that it will build 100 new houses. That does not go anywhere near—that is a drop in the ocean—what we need. There were 80 000 people looking for housing over the last four years. Twenty thousand sought help from homelessness services just last year, and one in three of them was turned away. So we have an absolute crisis, and I know any of us who walk around the city can see that crisis firsthand. It is in our suburbs, but particularly we see it in our streets. So the action that I am seeking is for the government to extend the Inclusionary Housing pilot program and set up some ambitious social housing percentages in the surplus government residential land sales.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member of Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment raised 6/3/19