Question without Notice: Social and affordable housing
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My question is for the Minister for Planning. Minister, this week is Homelessness Week. Victoria is in a housing crisis. There are around 25 000 Victorians that are homeless on any given night and 120 000 people on the public housing waiting list, yet last week the government finalised the planning scheme for the Arden precinct, which provides only an unenforceable, non-binding 6 per cent target for affordable housing—despite the planning panel
recommending it be mandatory—and no requirement for public housing to be built. Minister, given the housing and homelessness crisis Victoria is facing, why is there no requirement for affordable or public housing to be built in such a significant development area?
The SPEAKER: Order! I will call the Minister for Planning when the house comes to order.
Mr Wynne interjected.
The SPEAKER: The member for Richmond is warned.
Ms BLANDTHORN (Pascoe Vale—Leader of the House, Minister for Planning): I thank the member for Prahran for his question, and I thank him for his interest in social and affordable housing, certainly something that is very dear to my heart when my own mother grew up in housing commission accommodation in West Heidelberg. I absolutely understand the importance of social housing and community housing and ensuring that across our communities and across the precincts that we develop we have opportunities for social and affordable housing for our communities. It is disappointing that those opposite have not put their name to some of the reforms that we have sought to put forward to this end.
I do thank the member for Prahran for his question. It is important that in all of our planning framework, in all our decisions around planning strategy across our communities and across our projects that we do make provision for housing that suits the demographics, the needs and the various interests of communities, and we look forward to continuing to do that in the future.
Mr HIBBINS: The only people who benefited from the decision not to have mandatory affordable housing or public housing in this development are the property developers who are not required to give back to the community. Given that there are major developments right across the city, when will the government stop siding with the interests of property developers over people in need of a home and introduce mandatory requirements for affordable and social housing?
Ms BLANDTHORN I again thank the member for Prahran for his question and for his interest in affordable housing. It is a shame that he is ill informed and simply wrong. There is a requirement for social housing, and it will continue to be an important aspect of all decisions in relation to planning of new precincts around our community.