Architects applaud historic social housing investment

The Australian Institute of Architects has warmly welcomed the Victorian Government’s historic $5.3 billion investment in social housing saying it will have an enduring and transformative impact for generations.

Institute CEO Julia Cambage said more investment in sustainable social and affordable housing had long been one the Institute’s top advocacy priorities.

“The monumental injection of some 12,000 new social housing homes is laudable not only for its sheer scale but also for the depth and breadth of the housing diversity and inclusion it promotes,” Ms Cambage said.

“The Andrews Government is putting sustainability front and centre with a commitment to seven star energy efficiency standards, which is critically important to meet our goal of transforming the built environment to net zero emissions by 2030.

“This recognises the need for urgent action on climate and the challenges we all face in trying to build a – sustainable future.

“In making this unparalleled $5.3 billion investment The Andrews Government is both strengthening the Victorian economy and society by tackling, head on, the issue of homelessness.

“It will deliver widespread economic stimulus while also helping rectify what has been a crippling shortage of affordable housing.

“Housing is a basic human need and universal human right and the Andrews Government is stepping up to ensure that more Victorians will have better housing security.

“Importantly, the Andrews Government is also leveraging this investment to deliver stimulus in the regions, for key workers and those needing specialist disability accommodation.

“This program will open up a pipeline of work that is desperately needed to facilitate a stronger recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“A survey of our members we undertook in June this year revealed that nationally almost two-thirds (64.87%) of respondents – had projects stalled as a direct result of COVID-19.

“Architects are the canary in the coalmine for the construction sector, a drop-off in design work inevitably heralds flow-on effects for numerous other trades and professions along the building chain.

“We congratulate the Andrews Government on their leadership and look forward to working with Minister Wynne and Homes Victoria about other key design aspects that will ensure Victoria’s 12,000 new social housing homes are among the best in the world.”

Read more about the Institute’s Affordable Housing policy here and Sustainability Policy here. Findings from the Institute’s survey of members measuring the impact of COVID-19 is available here.