HIA Welcomes New Planning Direction

“The HIA has been advocating for some time for the Urban Growth Boundary to expand, in a bid to increase much-needed housing supply to cater for Victoria’s rapidly growing population,” said Acting Victorian Executive Director Robert Harding.

“As detailed in HIA’s Victorian Outlook released today, our state is expected to be almost 7000 homes short of demand this financial year. Real measures that aim to help increase housing supply and improve affordability are welcome.”

The Government has also promised to consult with industry about where the new boundary will be drawn. “It is important that this process is transparent and that planning reviews occur every two years to ensure that land availability and thereby new dwellings are in line with population projections,” Mr Harding said.

The Victorian Government’s own population figures project Melbourne’s population will hit five million faster than originally forecast and that an additional 600,000 dwellings will be needed over the next 20 years.

The HIA is also pleased the Victorian Government is looking at ways to minimise infrastructure charges in a bid to improve housing affordability.
“It is imperative that the Victorian Government ensures that our state maintains its competitive affordability advantage,” Mr Harding said.

“We would urge the Government to consider further ways of cutting infrastructure charges and taxes on housing, which are ultimately borne by home buyers and significantly deter first home buyers from entering the market.”

The Government has announced it is removing the infrastructure contribution for land that was within the boundary prior to 2005, claiming it will result in a $546 million saving in development costs on over 60,000 new homes to be built in the next 10 years.

“Any savings in infrastructure charges will be passed on to new home buyers, but we will be seeking further details on the announcement.”

HIA is also supportive of the Government’s plans to focus on building employment opportunities and public investment in key central areas.

“Land release initiatives need to be matched by incentives for businesses to relocate to these areas,” Mr Harding said. “It’s no good providing affordable land if that benefit is eaten up by transport charges.”

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.