Affordability means that housing can be accessed by a wide range of people on varying incomes. While some housing will be more or less affordable, there needs to be affordable options for everyone. Our definition of affordable housing is:

     that which does not cost (in rent or mortgage payments) more than 30% of gross household income for households in the bottom two quintiles of area median income (i.e. Greater Melbourne).

    Social housing is a subset of affordable housing, which focuses on the bottom 40% of income distribution, and refers to a type of rental housing that is provided and/or managed by the State or State registered not-for-profit organisation. Social housing is an overarching term that covers public housing, community housing, and crisis accommodation.

    What does the research say?

    We identified the following housing challenges as having a direct impact on the affordable and social housing issues in Maroondah:

    • 1 out of 10 households (more than 4,000) need help to meet their rent and mortgage repayments.
    • Maroondah needs an additional 7.5% of total housing stock to be used as affordable and social housing to meet the current demand.
    • Maroondah’s population is ageing, which means more affordable housing suitable for older persons in needed.
    • 27% of rental households are identified as low income households experiencing rental stress.
    • Affordable new rental stock has significantly declined since the early 2000s.
    • Social housing stock is unevenly distributed throughout the municipality.
    • A significant number of people requesting homelessness service support are parents escaping domestic or family violence.

    What did the stakeholders say?

    Over the last 5 months, Council has facilitated a range of engagement activities with key stakeholders and community leaders who work in the field of affordable and social housing.

    These activities included:

    • ·one on one interviews
    • focus groups
    • an Affordable and Social Housing Forum.

    Members from a variety of influential organisations, including the Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance (EAHA), the Salvation Army, EACH, and Wesley Homelessness and Support Services, were invited to join and contribute to the discussion. The purpose of stakeholder engagement was to learn about the experiences and perspectives of people who have worked within the field of affordable and social housing. Stakeholders discussed the impact and cost of housing affordability, the cause of the issue, and their views on Council’s role.

    Some of the common points discussed included:

    • There is currently a deficiency of suitable single person’s accommodation in Maroondah.
    • There is a negative stigma surrounding social housing that affects the delivery of new stock.
    • Due to the lack of stock and the permanent nature of social housing models, there are long waiting list for long-term social housing accommodation, meaning people are continuously moving between short-term housing.
    • Centrelink recipients often struggle to find affordable accommodation, as many property owners do not consider Centrelink to be a feasible source of income.
    • The Commonwealth Government’s current tax system is making it difficult for people to enter the housing market, and adding additional pressure to disadvantaged households.
    • New innovative responses need to be developed for the delivery of housing stock.
    • There is a need for increased housing affordability and social housing investment.
    • Services for those at risk of homelessness need to be readily available and frequently updated.