A Plan for Affordable, Quality Public Housing for Regional Victoria

Low-income households in regional Victoria are facing a market failure in the provision of quality, affordable housing.

If elected to the Victorian Parliament, I will push for the adoption of an affordable plan to help correct this situation by ensuring that there is a compulsory public housing component to every new housing subdivision in regional Victoria.

At present in Victoria, private developers, local and the state government build necessary urban infrastructure as part of new suburban subdivisions – roads, drainage, street lighting, utility connections and parkland. At the completion of housing developments, this infrastructure becomes a public good, which is owned, maintained and managed by government on behalf of the public.

Under my plan, a proportion of the houses built would also be passed on to the Victorian government to be managed as affordable public housing. The proportion of new housing given over to public housing would vary according to local low-income housing need, but may be as high as 10%.

How would this be paid for?

At present, broadacre landholders, whose land is typically rezoned from agricultural to residential to facilitate suburban residential development make a massive windfall profit. Fortunes fall to the hands of a relatively small number of broadacre landholders whose land is rezoned for residential development. This is because property developers compete with each other, bidding up the cost of the broadacre land to very high levels. The high cost of this land is passed on by developers to the end user – rural families who wish to buy a residential lot.

This long-standing practice has benefited only a small number of lucky landholders, who often become multi-millionaires overnight, at the expense of thousands of families seeking to buy a home, including low-income persons and households.

At long last, the Victorian government has announced that it will introduce a ‘Windfall Gains Tax’ from July 1 2023. However, it is seriously inadequate, because:

  1. The Wildfall Gains Tax revenue is not specifically linked to the provision of public housing in new residential subdivisions. The Victorian government intends that the tax will reduce its current level of contribution to residential development.
  • The Windfall Gains Tax rate is far too low. The most widely applicable tax rate foreshadowed is only 50%. I will work within government to ensure that this rate is significantly increased.
  • The taxation rate is not to be applied to the astronomically high prices often actually paid by developers to landholders. By contrast, the Victorian government intends that the tax will only apply to a relatively small fraction of this purchase value (set by the Victorian Valuer General).

Unfortunately, the Victorian government seems more interested in looking after the interests of wealthy and propertied elites, rather than low-income rural families. Its approach to the tax is poorly focussed and weak.

If elected, I will fight to ensure that the Windfall Gains Tax is given real teeth and that it is used to provide decent, low-cost housing for low-income rural Victorians. My plan would see a rapid expansion in the supply of quality, affordable public housing, at little additional expense to the Victorian government and the majority of tax payers.

On election day, please vote Marilyn Nuske Independent Candidate BENDIGO WEST No 1 to help bring fundamental change for regional Victorians.

Authorised by Marilyn Nuske Independent Candidate Northern Victoria Region 8715 Midland Highway Barkers Creek Victoria

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