Melbourne’s “Big Housing Build”, a 5.3 Billon dollar initiative to build 12,000 new homes has recently received an update indicating that the first 1,100 houses have been purchased / commenced development since the inception of the project at the start of 2021.

With an emphasis on making the subject houses most available to those in need – those escaping from family violence, people living with a mental of physical disability, Victoria’s First People and people experiencing homelessness – this project represents Australia’s largest ever social housing initiative and aims to increase Victoria’s stock of social housing by over 10 percent.

This project includes state-wide amendments to the Victorian Planning Scheme (Clause 52.20 and Clause 52.30) which stipulate specific controls for any application lodged as a part of this project, overriding zone and overlay provisions (and additionally skipping public notification requirements) effectively fast-tracking the assessment of any application. Rather than the Local Municipality assessing these applications, it is noted that the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate change is the responsible / assessing authority for these applications.

This project helps illustrate how policy and projects relating to the built environment can help alleviate/ address social issues and create a better, more socially equitable environment for all.

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