5. An affordable place to live

As an affordable place to live, Melbourne will provide affordable accommodation, food and services. Our municipality will offer a mix of housing and facilities, reflecting and supporting our diverse and inclusive community.

Thousands of new apartments have appeared in the municipality of Melbourne in recent years. In 2007 the municipality had 48,000 dwellings, a substantial increase from the 27,060 dwellings in 2001. While private housing has boomed, public housing stocks have declined. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of public housing units dropped sharply before rising between 2005 and 2007 to 2073 dwellings. However, this is still a decline of 9 per cent from the public housing stock levels of 2000.

Between March 2007 and March 2008, The City of Melbourne's average house price increased 32 per cent ($926,000, up from $630,500) while our average unit price increased 18.5 per cent ($426,750 up from $360,000). Melbourne's average rent has also increased considerably.

The cost of living in the municipality will, if we're not careful, push low and moderate income households out. Affordable housing must continue to be available for those working in retail, hospitality, social service and education in the central city. Providing for creative people and students is also important.

We also need to address the complex health and welfare needs of people without homes. In 2004, around 4,000 homeless people were living in Melbourne. We need to continue working with others to increase the number of well-managed boarding houses and rooming houses in the inner urban area. Many of our homeless are young, Indigenous or have mental illnesses and disabilities and, as well as housing, all need support, employment and recognition of cultural needs.

Finally, we need to ensure that other essentials besides housing remain affordable: transport, food, health care, recreation and education, and ensure that employment opportunities exist for all.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Affordable housing opportunities

An increase in the number and variety of affordable housing opportunities to support our growing and diverse population.

Proportion of City of Melbourne residents who spend more than 30 per cent of their income on a rent or mortgage. Current: Indicator to be developed 1

20 per cent of new City of Melbourne housing completed is affordable. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Increased affordable housing options, with emphasis on housing for vulnerable populations, Social (public) and affordable housing stock in the city increased via the introduction of inclusionary zoning, community land trusts, partnerships and other mechanisms that ensure a proportion of social (public) and affordable housing in new developments. Increased housing affordability for low and moderate income residents and workers including the tertiary students, the cultural and artistic community and service workers. Housing is available for key workers.

Affordable health care

Good public health and wellbeing for all residents, particularly 'at risk' and disadvantaged groups.

Number of GPs that bulk bill. Current: In the inner Melbourne area, 79 per cent of practices bulk bill. 2

A healthier community with access to affordable public health and wellbeing services for all residents, particularly disadvantaged and 'at risk' groups, with an emphasis on preventative care.

Affordable and nutritious food

An increase in affordable and healthy food choices.

The distribution of fresh food outlets throughout the City of Melbourne. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Diet and health improves along with access to nutritious food and food security.

Chronic homelessness eliminated

An increase in facilities and services to support and house the chronically homeless to alleviate long term and chronic homelessness.

Number of people sleeping rough in the City of Melbourne. Current: 1083 Decrease in number of chronic homeless people. Increased general public tolerance and understanding of homeless people and the issues that affect them.

More housing construction

Housing construction and conversion keeps pace with demand to ensure a ready supply of varied accommodation options.

Number of dwellings in the City of Melbourne. Current: 2008: 48,000 dwellings 4

Rental vacancy rate. Current: 2008: 0.6 per cent within 4km of the CBD 5

A variety of housing options are available and affordable to house our growing and diverse populations.

Better site utilisation

Optimal development of residential sites to provide diverse housing types catering to a range of needs.

Diversity of new housing stock. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Available residential sites developed to their full potential in a timely manner and providing a variety of housing types.

Equitable planning system

A planning system that ensures development contributes to and supports community betterment including affordable housing and infrastructure provision.

Indicator to be developed.

The establishment of a development contributions system which is aimed at community benefit while facilitating greater density.

Additional provision of community infrastructure and affordable housing.

See also


1 : ABS (2006) Basic Community Profile

2 : Melbourne General Practice Network (2008) Practices

3 : City of Melbourne (2008) Street Count 2008

4 : City of Melbourne (2008) Melbourne - a Snapshot

5 : Realestate Institute of Victoria (REIV) (2008) Only one in 100 rental properties vacant in Melbourne in May

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