Victorian Government announces $1bn fund to provide loans to social housing organisations

FOR the first time ever, social housing organisations will be able to utilise a $1 billion fund and access low interest loans to build, buy and rent homes using the borrowing power of the Victorian Government.

The $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund, a collaboration between government, the private and philanthropic sectors, will provide dedicated assistance to community housing associations to help support up to 2,200 households.

Carlton Housing Redevelopment, Melbourne
Above: The Carlton Housing Redevelopment in Melbourne / Department of Health and Human Services.

Set up using capital provided by the government, the returns will be used as a funding stream to build new social and affordable homes, and subsidise rent for Victorians in need of housing assistance.

At the same time, the loan program will allow registered housing associations to borrow funds for new homes at a lower interest rate. By acting as guarantor, the government will help these associations spend less on interest, and more on helping Victorians in need.

A further $100 million in low-cost loans will also be made available to registered housing associations.

The management of 4,000 public housing properties will be transferred to the community housing sector to improve services to tenants through better property management, local housing services, access to support services and grow social housing. The government will work with partners and stakeholders during the transition.

The State Government will also push the Commonwealth for a long term commitment to the National Affordable Housing Agreement, with modelling showing their cuts would mean Victoria would lose $360 million and 56,000 Victorians denied access to homelessness services.

Photo: Carlton Housing Redevelopment, Melbourne / Department of Health and Human Services.

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