Council addresses need for Social Housing in the Colac Otway Shire
August 31, 2021
Colac Otway Shire Council has committed to addressing disadvantage in the region with the adoption of a Social Housing Plan at its August meeting.
The Colac Otway Social Housing Plan is part of Council’s participation in the G21 Regional Social Housing Project, which aims to develop individual Council plans to be a part of a combined regional strategy.
The plan identifies that the current supply of subsidised, social housing is less than half of what the Colac Otway community needs.
“We currently have 290 social housing dwellings in Colac Otway Shire however we need an additional 344 to meet need within the community,” Colac Otway Shire Mayor Kate Hanson said.
“282 households in the shire, who are already living on a modest income, spend more than 30% of that income on housing.
“We also have at least 62 people who identify as homeless within our community, and that figure is a conservative estimate.”
Cr Hanson said the plan set a framework for Council to advocate for increased investment in social housing in the shire.
“Council can play a leadership role by advocating to State Government and relevant agencies toward achieving additional social housing for our community.
“The State Government remains the responsible level of government for the delivery of social housing, however this plan sets out clear actions for Council to take.
“Actions such as working with Homes Victoria to develop any underutilised state-owned land in the shire.
“We’ve also made a commitment to negotiate with developers for the provision of social housing as part of new developments.
“From an organisational point of view, we’ll work to embed social housing considerations into plans and strategies developed by Council.”
Cr Hanson said the plan would build on progress already being made by Council in addressing the social housing shortage.
“The current Expression of Interest process for sale of council-owned land for development at Bruce Street, Colac includes a social housing component.
“The plan ensures Council takes a coordinated approach to action undertaken and will provide strength to our position in advocating for signification funding for social housing in the Colac Otway region.”
Adoption of the Social Housing Plan comes after Council declared a Key and Essential Worker Housing Crisis in the Colac Otway Shire at the June meeting.