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This page is about our strategy for creating affordable housing. To find out about emergency housing go to our Community and personal safety page.

Our affordable housing strategies and plans

Affordable Housing Action Plan (AHAP) 2022 to 2026

Our Affordable Housing Action Plan aims to increase affordable housing in Merri-bek. We can do this through policy, advocacy, applied skills and investment. The plan defines four areas of activity where Council can be most effective. It also sets out actions under each focus area of the plan.

  • There is a lack of affordable housing in Merri-bek, and this affects our community. Research shows we need at least 7,000 new affordable homes by 2036.

    Our latest Affordable Housing Action Plan (AHAP) was endorsed by Council in December 2022 and sets actions up to 2026.

    The Action Plan has four focus areas:

    • Facilitating the supply of affordable housing in new developments.
    • Partnerships to develop affordable housing, particularly on council land.
    • Research and advocacy for increased investment.
    • Supporting service coordination, information provision and advocacy for people who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

    For more details about affordable housing in Merri-bek you can email affordablehousing@merri-bek.vic.gov.au or call 9240 1111 and ask for the Principal Advisor Social and Affordable Housing.

  • We aim to increase the amount of affordable housing by working with landowners and developers. In particular, working with them on planning permits or rezoning proposals.

    When we provide a permit or rezone land it raises the value of that land. We want to share this increase in value by providing more affordable housing.

    One way we are doing this is through our Affordable Housing Fact Sheet. We give this sheet to people who want planning permits or to rezone their land. The fact sheet encourages them to include affordable housing in their development.

  • In June 2019 we started our Affordable Housing Advisory Service Pilot Program. As part of this program, a consultant provides advice on affordable housing matters. Their advice focuses on the process of planning permits and planning scheme amendments.

    We modeled this program on the Heritage Advisory Service. We learnt a lot from this program and it's successes.

    We used the data from this program to create the Affordable Housing Action Plan. We also used it to bring affordable housing into planning permit applications and planning scheme amendments.

    Affordable Housing Advisory Service Pilot Program documents:

Merri-bek Affordable Housing Ltd (MAH)

We created Merri-bek Affordable Housing Ltd in 2018. It is a housing agency and it aims to provide more affordable housing options in Merri-bek. They also partner with organisations to provide housing options.

MAH is working on innovative development and financing models. They work with stakeholders such as the state and federal government. They also work with affordable housing development agencies.

The agency's current leadership and board members are on the 'Our people' page on their website. You can contact MAH by using the form on their website.

Research on housing needs and supply in Merri-bek

We produce research on housing affordability and supply in Merri-bek.

Responding to homelessness

In 2016 the homeless rate in Merri-bek was 94 people for every 10,000 people. This rate was well above Melbourne's average of 88 people for every 10,000.

The Victorian government has the responsibility to respond to homelessness. They fund services for emergency housing which you can see on our Community and personal safety page.

We also advocate to address homelessness in Merri-bek. Our strategies aim to create housing for people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.

Amendment C170: Gronn Place Public Housing Renewal

Amendment C170 was prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Minister for Planning is the planning authority for this amendment.

See full amendment

The redeveloped Gronn Place is called Harvest Square. Full details of the project are available on the Homes Victoria website.