Housing affordability across the country has declined significantly in recent years leading to: increases in housing stress for home buyers and renters; large social housing waiting lists; and, growing levels of homelessness locally as demand for housing services significantly exceeds supply.
Homelessness and housing affordability are complex issues for which there is no easy fix. To determine our role in addressing this issue, Council has utilised resources to both consult with the housing sector, as well as undertake research into current and future housing need and best practice approaches by local government. The production of four background documents informed Council’s approach:
The Council Plan commits the City of Ballarat to playing a role in addressing housing need. Specifically, over the next twelve months this includes developing linkages to the Ballarat Strategy and Municipal Strategic Statement to ensure planning system measures facilitate efficient housing markets and affordable housing supply. Council has also made a commitment to work in partnership with housing organisations and other relevant stakeholders to facilitate provision of social housing in the Ballarat municipality.
As a next step in this process, Council is convening a workshop session in August,Facilitating affordable housing in Ballarat: A partnership approach.Rather than operate as a public forum, this event will be by invitation only, specifically targeting key representatives from social housing provider organisations and housing associations, local business representatives, Councillors and Council’s leadership team.
Once the feasibility of forthcoming suggested partnership initiatives has been investigated, submissions will be sought from housing sector stakeholders and the wider Ballarat community.