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Victoria government encouraged to adopt mandatory inclusionary zoning for social housing


The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) has issued a call to the Victorian Government to adopt mandatory inclusionary zoning following the government’s ‘in principle’ support for the policy. This call comes in the wake of the government’s long-awaited response to a parliamentary inquiry into homelessness. Inclusionary zoning requires that a certain percentage of new major housing developments is reserved for social or affordable housing.

Despite the government’s acknowledgment of the recommendation to investigate the implementation of mandatory inclusionary zoning, CHIA Vic has expressed concerns that the measures outlined in the government’s specific response do not align with the principles of inclusionary zoning and are unlikely to lead to an increase in social housing in proportion with population growth.

Sarah Toohey, the Chief Executive of CHIA Vic, urged the Victorian Government to collaborate with the housing sector to create an inclusionary zoning scheme to address housing stress and homelessness effectively. “Since the parliamentary inquiry’s final report into homelessness in Victoria was handed down, housing costs have skyrocketed and more people have slipped into homelessness,” Toohey stated. She emphasized the critical necessity for constructing more social and affordable housing to prevent Victorians from falling into homelessness.

According to Toohey, a well-designed mandatory inclusionary zoning scheme could significantly contribute to resolving the housing crisis by generating thousands of social homes annually. She highlighted the limitations of voluntary schemes in producing substantial quantities of social and affordable housing. With Victoria maintaining the lowest proportion of social housing among all states and territories, Toohey stressed the importance of investing in innovative solutions like mandatory inclusionary zoning to increase the availability of genuinely affordable homes.

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