Mitchell Shire families will soon be able to move into two new homes in Wallan thanks to a $3.1 million partnership between social housing provider BeyondHousing, the Victorian Property Fund and Mitchell Shire Council.
The two and three bedroom homes are two of seven new homes to be constructed for people at risk of homelessness in Wallan, Broadford and Seymour.
BeyondHousing chief executive Ceilia Adams said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the importance of investing in social policies to protect the most vulnerable individuals and families, including the supply of safe, secure, and affordable housing.
“It is the families who bear the brunt of this crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out of school children and at the same time continuing their work, care and community responsibilities,” she said.
According to the 2016 Census, 54.2 per cent of households in Wallan and 44 per cent of households in Broadford are households with children, compared with 41.5 per cent across Victoria, making building family homes in the Mitchell Shire particularly important.
Ms Adams said the project had provided a desperately-needed increase in the supply of social and affordable housing in Mitchell Shire.
She said she was delighted to be at the point where a local family was about to walk through the doors of their new home.
“We know this is an attractive area for people to live and raise a family, but the growing popularity does mean those on low incomes find it increasingly harder to find affordable housing within the community,” she said.
“As a community, we need projects like this to help solve the growing issue of homelessness, to stop people falling through the cracks and to lower poverty rates by boosting the supply of genuinely affordable housing.”
Mitchell Shire is experiencing rapid population growth, with further extreme population growth forecast, increasing 190 per cent from 2018 to 2041.
With housing and homelessness client rates more than eight per cent greater than metropolitan Melbourne, the delivery of new social housing in Mitchell Shire will help stem the rates in the future.
Mitchell Shire Council acting chief executive Mary Agostino said council was committed to ensuring people across the region had access to affordable housing.
“Our community has benefited from a productive and successful relationship with BeyondHousing as we continue to address housing affordability,” she said.
“We all have a responsibility to contribute to reducing homelessness by ensuring there is more affordable housing available.”
Each new property is a well-appointed contemporary home which optimises connection to community services, resources, transport, and social activities.