The Victorian government unveiled its Victorian Infrastructure policy that covers the governance of public open spaces such as parks, libraries, and schools. The Victorian government in Australia has also deployed the A$5.4 billion “Big Housing Build” policy in the state which aims to build more than 12,000 houses in the next four years.
Victoria, Australia Social Housing Policies
- In Victoria, Australia, social housing is managed by the “government, housing agencies or not-for-profit organizations.”
- Social housing is composed of public housing and community housing. This type of housing is intended for low-income people who need help the most such as those who recently became homeless.
- The Victorian Housing Register was established to have an efficient way of managing the social housing needs in the state. The register has these two classifications: “priority list and register of interest.“
- The National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) establishes the structure for all tiers of government to collaborate to ensure that housing is made affordable for those in the bottom rung of the income ladder. The NAHA replaces the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement.
- The NAHA’s objective is to work on ensuring that all its citizens can afford to have safe and sustainable homes that can enable them to contribute more to society and the economy.
- The government of Victoria, Australia has also included a public housing policy and practice manuals under its social housing division.
- The policy and the practice manuals were considered as operational instructions for the employees of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The guides are also expected to help housing service providers.
- The manuals containing these housing policies and practices include the following: “allocations manual, RentAssist bond loan scheme operational guidelines, business practice manual, maintenance manual, relocation manual, rental rebate manual, tenancy management manual, tenancy plus – tenancy support operational guidelines, public housing home visits, and inspections operational guidelines.
- These manuals refer to certain public housing sections and may require additional references such as other departmental housing manuals and the appropriate regulations.
- These guidelines were put in place to accomplish the goal of the policies when implementing procedures.
- In the allocations manual, the “public housing allocations operational guidelines” are indicated.
- The guidelines were put in place to ensure the fair allocation of public housing aid. These guidelines can also help in making the process more efficient to ensure that those who require the most help are the priorities.
- This particular manual needs to be accompanied by the provisions in the “Victorian Housing Register’s Eligibility policy framework and operational guidelines, including other divisions’ operational rules.”
- The allocation manual also includes the “rights and responsibilities of the tenant and the Director of Housing (as landlord) in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act (1997) when signing a Residential Tenancy Agreement. “
- The Victorian government in Australia has also launched the A$5.4 billion “Big Housing Build” policy in the state.
- The housing policy plans to build more than 12,000 houses in the next four years. Out of these total, 9,300 social housing units will be constructed. The remaining units will be “affordable or market-rate housing.” The policy plans to replace around 1,100 decrepit public houses.
- The Big Housing Build overall target is to increase the number of social housing units in Victoria from 80,500 to around 89,000 – approximately 3.5% of all housing.
- The details of the signature projects of the policy are the following:
- $532 million to construct on public properties. This will include six “fast start” sites. The target is to build 500 social housing homes and 540 affordable and market homes.
- $948 million to spot-buy houses, house construction in progress or ready-to-construct houses from private entities. This is expected to yield 1,600 social housing and 200 affordable houses.
- $1.38 billion for community housing initiatives to construct a maximum of 4,200 homes.
- $2.14 billion for “new opportunities” with private firms and community housing providers, building up to 5,200 homes.
- Based on the analysis of some experts in the state, the “Big Housing Build” policy is a long-awaited project but it still falls short of the required factors for it to be considered a good policy.
- It still needs some crucial elements such as “research, housing targets with geographical and population-group breakdowns, transparent decision-making, clearly identified funding streams and responsible agencies shared definitions, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, clear time frames, and integration with other policy areas and levels of government.”
Victoria, Australia Public Open Spaces Policy
- The Victorian government unveiled its Victorian Infrastructure Plan (VIP) policy that covers the governance of public open spaces such as parks, libraries, and schools.
- It also launched its all-encompassing Plan Melbourne Policy that contains the strategic path on how Melbourne will progress in the next 35 years.
- This policy will help in the creation of more jobs, housing, transportation programs, and others.
- The VIP’s vision and priorities are shaped by the nine major sectors where “infrastructure policy and delivery” will be the key to the state’s future progress.
- Its funding strategy aims to reap the maximum “economic, social, and environmental value.”
- The government also gets funding from various financing instruments to get these projects funded.
- So far, the state has allocated more than $40 billion to build various infrastructure units such as schools, roads, open spaces, and others.
- The local councils in the government provide funding for crucial community establishments such as libraries, sports fields, and local roads using their “rates and contributions.”
Victoria, Australia Innovation Initiatives Policy
- The Victorian government also continues to develop the PPP policies and structure by cultivating innovation and pushing for industry transformation through its Victorian Infrastructure Plan (VIP) policy.
- The state is a leader in this area as it has already deployed 29 projects with a total of $15.6 billion in value in the last 20 years.
- The Victorian government has also expressed its commitment to the State Library Victoria’s Vision 2020 transformation.
- The transformation will involve the development of innovative new spaces for kids and teens.
- The library is also planning to transform its facilities to propel the state’s progressing “creative and innovation” environment.
- The library aims to build Start Space, Victoria’s first hub for early-stage founders.
- The project is worth around A$88.1 million.
- Victoria’s infrastructure policy also determined that digital connectivity is the unifying link across its “30-year infrastructure strategy.”
- The policy will then prioritize three goals to strengthen internet and mobile connectivity in the state.
- The following are the key priorities: expand digital access in the state, provide more support on the use of digital technologies in various industries such as transportation, and improve state assets.
- The state will allow A$7 million to deploy the Digital Economy Plan to cultivate innovation and competitiveness in various industries.
- The Victorian government will also allot $10 million to proceed with the investments in sector-led innovation initiatives that can enable better healthcare access. The Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund contributed to the project.
- The Victorian Government’s investments in this sector include the creation of new ICT platforms to enhance healthcare services and improve research and innovation endeavors.
Overall, the following are the funding amount that the Victorian government allocates in the catalyst projects of the sectors mentioned above: