Mayor Marianne Alto started off the week with a public plea to the federal government to step in and help with the city’s dire need for more housing that people can actually afford.
Victoria’s official Housing Strategy is an that was set in motion in 2016 and meant to be completed by 2025, just two years from now.
‘Phase 2’ of this plan had goals that were to be completed by 2022 that are still up in the air and remain unattainable to most Victorians.
These goals were to prioritize renters and renter households, increase the supply of housing for low to moderate income households, increase housing choices for all, optimize existing policies and processes and lastly, try new and bold approaches to supplying housing.
Now, Mayor Alto says she wrote to the federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities to request that he act quickly to provide a fair share of federal housing funding to Victoria.
“As Victorians know, we live in a small city with a big city’s housing crisis. Victoria is a vibrant, growing city with a strong economy and a skilled workforce but our municipality’s capacity to support further growth is challenged by a very constrained housing market that is no longer tied to local incomes,” wrote Mayor Alto in a statement.
“To help resolve that issue, city council implemented a nation-leading Housing Strategy, including seven highly ambitious initiatives to grow housing supply, speed housing approvals and improve infrastructure planning in Victoria.”
“What our city urgently needs now is more generous and immediate federal housing funding,” she continued.
Mayor Alto says she reminded the Minister that our Housing Strategy exceeds all criteria and is deserving of additional funding from the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF).
She added in her statement that because of her correspondence with the Minister, she believes Victoria will receive funding soon and the fruits of her labour will be seen by Victorians in the coming years.
Now, she says Victoria is eligible to receive at least $28 million from that fund.
“Victoria simply cannot wait any longer for the necessary federal funding to help fix our housing challenges – funding in an amount that matches the scale of those challenges and reflects our city’s role in the regional rental, affordable and urban Indigenous housing systems,” said Mayor Alto.
“The Victoria Housing Strategy clearly demonstrates Victoria’s commitment to working with the federal government to increase the supply of affordable housing in our communities. I am committed to realizing that strategy, and I’m calling on the federal government to do its part.”
If Victoria receives this new funding, where/how would you like to see it spent in order to increase housing affordability in the city? Let us know in the comments!