Victorian reform clarifies affordable housing options

The Victorian Government has introduced planning reforms make it easier for Councils and developers to negotiate voluntary agreements to include affordable homes in residential developments.

The Planning and Environment Act was amended following difficulties for councils and developers in using section 173 of the Act to negotiate agreements for the provision of affordable housing as part of development applications.

In a statement the, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said there has been uncertainty about the legal validity of the agreements and confusion about what is meant by affordable housing.

“It has wasted time and effort, led to unnecessary costs and most critically, seen many lost opportunities to increase the number of affordable homes.”

The reforms define affordable housing and provide guidance on how voluntary affordable housing agreements between councils and developers can be negotiated.

A fact sheet on the amendments, which came into operation on June 1, is available here.

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