Social and Affordable Housing

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A project is underway to explore the suitability of land at 2 Fraser Drive, Aireys Inlet to develop social and affordable housing.

Community Update

The Design- In Workshop ran on November 19 and the community survey has also closed this month. The consultant’s report is now available, and includes both a summary of the survey results and the workshop details.

You can review the report here(PDF, 5MB)

Community Advisory Group UPDATE

Ten community members have now been appointed to join the Community Advisory Group.

The group is made up of specialist designers, builders, people with lived experience in social and affordable housing, local residents, and key stakeholders.

Advisory Group members will participate is a community co-design process between March and May 2023, to develop the design concept for the proposal. An independent facilitator will bring community advisory group members and the registered housing agency’s architects and developers together ~six times and will aim to consider and synthesise the below information towards consensus on an architecturally resolved design concept.

  • Findings from the first phase of community engagement, particularly the results of the design-in process
  • Traditional Owner cultural knowledge to embed an understanding of Country
  • Input of independent experts such as academics and industry practitioners in housing, planning, urban design, architecture, etc.  
  • All relevant site conditions, land use planning and development provisions, building regulations, etc.
  • Other evidence and best practice examples of base plans, concept floor plans and landscape plans, traffic movement and parking plans, etc.

Project Timeline

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Phase 1 of the project has now concluded. This included a series of community engagement opportunities:

  • Community drop-in session
  • Online surveys and submissions
  • Community Advisory Group
  • Design-In Workshop

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Frequently asked questions

What is the project?

To explore the potential for further development of social and affordable housing on vacant land at 2 Fraser Drive, Aireys Inlet.

A portion of the site has housed residents in four affordable housing dwellings since the early 1990s.

A nearby community garden and Fraser Walk, public access pathway to Albert Avenue, would not be included in the project and would remain in Council ownership.

Why consider developing social and affordable housing?

Social and affordable housing is required when the private rental and home ownership markets cannot meet housing need.

There is much evidence to suggest there is significant need for social and affordable housing in our shire.

We have heard from key workers, families, women and older residents struggling to stay in their communities due to a lack of affordable housing.

Private rental vacancy rates are below one per cent and 783 people are on the waiting list for social housing in the Anglesea – Aireys district alone.

Currently Anglesea and Aireys Inlet have 29 social housing dwellings and there are 97 social housing dwellings across the Surf Coast Shire.

G21 research indicates a social housing shortfall of 335 dwellings in the Surf Coast Shire based on 2016 census data. Data from the 2021 census is not yet available but is likely to indicate an even greater shortfall.

Job vacancy rates have ballooned and local businesses and health organisations are struggling to find staff.

The shortage of key workers such as nurses and other specialised health professionals, teachers, early year’s educators, emergency service officers, hospitality and retail and health and beauty workers negatively impacts the social fabric and the economic prosperity of our communities and townships. 

Diversity in our accommodation mix sees people step into a variety of professional and civic roles, generating economic and social capital.

What is the difference between social and affordable housing?

Affordable housing is a broad term which includes social housing.

The term social housing includes public housing, which is state owned and managed housing, and community housing.

Community housing is housing provided by a registered housing agency or a community housing provider.

Both social and affordable housing build in, to differing extents, elements of eligibility and subsidy usually set through government policy.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 defines affordable housing in relation to the needs of very low, low and medium income households.

Home Victoria’s Affordable Housing Rental Scheme and some Victorian councils have key and essential worker policies and programs that also tie affordable housing eligibility to the industry they work in.

Eligibility for social housing includes a defined income threshold for singles, couples and families.

Subsidy for social housing is between 25% and 30% of income.

What will community engagement inform?

Feedback from community engagement activities will provide a key input into Council’s consideration of proposals received during a subsequent Expression of Interest process from registered housing agencies to develop social and affordable housing and transfer the management of existing four social housing dwellings.

Once a registered housing agency is selected, Council will facilitate a community co-design process. The co-design process, expected to run from March – May 2023 will generate solutions to site condition and planning provision challenges and result in a design concept for the development.

In the first phase of community engagement, there are four opportunities to have your say.

  • Sunday 9 October at Aireys Inlet Market from 9am-12pm
  • Friday 14 October at Aireys Inlet Hall from 3pm-5pm
  • Saturday 22 October 22 at Aireys Inlet Hall from 11-am - 1pm
  • November – TBC – On site ‘Design In’ workshop.

You can also have your say by completing the survey.

Why consider proposals from registered housing agencies?

Community Housing Organisations are not-for-profit organisations that provide safe, secure, and affordable rental homes for people on low incomes. Community Housing Organisations are:

  • • Not-for-profit registered charities that report annually to the Australian Tax Office and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
  • Mission driven to provide safe, secure, and affordable homes for low-income renters who are priced out of the private market.
  • Highly regulated and required to report annually to the Housing Registrar on a range of key performance measures and update the Registrar regularly on any significant issues that arise during their day-to-day operations.  These performance standards ensure high-quality rental housing services and the best outcomes for renters and prospective renters.

Community Housing Organisations have a proven track record and are experienced in property management, tenancy management and community development. They are deeply committed to the communities in which they work.

Why this site?

The Aireys Inlet to Eastern View Structure Plan was developed in consultation with community and establishes the strategic merit for the site to be developed as higher density housing suitable for older people, incorporating the community garden on the site.

Additionally, the site is well located for social and affordable housing.

Fraser Walk connects to Albert Avenue and a retail precinct including a small supermarket and post office is 250 metres away. Aireys Inlet Medical Centre is across the Great Ocean Road, 150m, and a bus service that runs to Geelong via Torquay and Waurn Ponds, and Apollo Bay via Lorne is available 150m away. Aireys Inlet Primary School is 300m. A secondary school in Lorne is 22km or Torquay 31km.

Why would Council consider forgoing the value of the land?

By removing the cost of land from the development, Council would be reducing the amount of capital a registered housing agency needs, and the amount of subsidy that they need to attract.

This would make the development more viable and allows the selected registered housing agency to invest in the quality of the build and in other social and affordable housing projects.

The broader social and economic benefits of facilitating social and affordable housing would be established in perpetuity through an affordable housing agreement with the registered housing agency.

Any proposal that includes, for example, the discounted sale of the land would be subject to a council resolution.

What is the value of the land?

The estimated value of the whole site is $2,825,000 as of 30 June 2021.

The annual social housing rental revenue is $61,600.

What will the development look like?

Registered housing agencies build high-quality, architecturally designed residential developments. New properties are built to the highest possible environmental standards (7 Star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme or NatHERS rating).

As described below, the design requirements for housing developed as part of Victoria’s Big Housing Build are more stringent than many private developments. The unique environmental, social and heritage values of the neighbourhood will be considered.

Additionally, while we don’t know exactly what the housing will look like and how many people it will house, community members will get a say through two phases of community engagement.

The first phase of community engagement will include a ‘Design-In’. A Design-In is a deliberative workshop that brings together all users of multi-purpose spaces to hear concerns and work through them as a group. The Design In will establish key principles for the development and will inform a subsequent phase of community engagement – a community co-design process to create the design concept for the development.

The co-design process will begin in March 2023 after the Expression of Interest process, conducted from December 2022 to February 2023, has identified a preferred registered housing agency.

The co-design process will bring together architects from the registered housing agency and a community advisory group of ten community members with technical and lived experience expertise.

The co-design process will consider the findings of the Design In and generate design and programming solutions to issues relating to the site, built form, public open space interface with the community garden and Fraser Walk, etc.

Expressions of interest for joining the community advisory group are open now until 4 November.

What are the main components of the Big Housing Build provision?

Clause 52.20 Victoria’s Big Housing Build was introduced on 1 December 2020 through Amendment VC190 to the Victoria planning provisions.

Clause 52.20 removes the need for a development funded by the Big Housing Build to obtain a planning permit or scheme amendment and replaces these processes with a streamlined development approval process that:

  • Exempts scheme requirements that would ordinarily apply, however, does not exempt certain scheme requirements such as bushfire management, environmental audits and environment effects statements.
  • Requires consideration of the planning provisions that would ordinarily apply such as heritage, design and environmental issues.
  • Exempts the requirement to notify surrounding properties and review of decisions, however, a community consultation process, completed to the satisfaction of the Minister, is required.
  • Includes requirements and development standards (based on ResCode and Better Apartments) to support faster decision making, certainty and the amenity of adjoining neighbours.

More information about amendment VC190 and the operation of Cl 52.20 can be found at Amendment VC190 questions and answers at the Planning Victoria website.