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Council land in Coburg offered to deliver more affordable housing in Melbourne

11 Aug 2023

Merri-bek City Council is inviting the State and Federal Governments to leverage Council resources to address the affordable housing crisis, including Council-owned land in Coburg which could be used for this purpose. 

Merri-bek Mayor Cr Angelica Panopoulos said addressing affordable housing required partnership from all levels of government. 

“The availability of affordable housing stock is becoming more and more limited, and it’s clear all levels of government need to look at new options to get more people into housing they can afford,” Cr Panopoulos said. 

“Merri-bek City Council owns large parcels of land in central Coburg that could accommodate public and affordable housing outcomes and be delivered in partnership with the State and Federal governments. 

“We would love to work with the State Housing Minister, local MPs and the local community to make this a reality. 

At the 9 August Council Meeting, Council resolved its position on a range of measures that could improve housing affordability. 

“Government-delivered housing stock is just one of many ways to tackle the housing crisis. Council also believes developers should be required to deliver affordable housing in new residential developments under the Victorian Planning Provisions. 

“We’re also investigating the ability of Council to impose limitations and levies on short-term rentals. 

Cr Panopoulos emphasised that the Council is eager to work together with State Government towards solutions, and is already working productively within the remit of its current planning authority. 

“We are doing our part to deliver more housing, and have approved more than 96% of planning applications over the past 5 financial years. There have been over 15,000 new dwellings built in Merri-bek over the past 5 financial years, an important increase in housing supply. 

“We have also approved the transfer of Council land to Merri-bek Affordable Housing Ltd for an important project at Wilkinson Street, Brunswick, to be developed into social housing. 

“We hope to meet with decision-makers at the table soon to start taking meaningful action on affordable housing.”