Draft statewide housing targets for Victoria – More than 2 million new homes by 2051

24 June 2024
Brihony Boan, Partner, Melbourne Andrea Towson, Partner, Melbourne

Last week, the Victorian Government released their draft statewide housing targets.

In an ambitious target, 2,001,000 additional dwellings are proposed to be constructed between now and 2051 across Metropolitan Melbourne – being almost double the number of existing dwellings currently constructed in Metropolitan Melbourne.

The Government wants local councils to ‘unlock space for more homes by proposing changes to local planning rules’, with the intention of giving developers ‘the confidence they need to get on and build’.

Once finalised, the housing targets will be an important element of the new Plan for Victoria.

The Metropolitan Melbourne targets, broken down by local government areas (LGAs) are listed in the table below:

No.LGA2023 – Number of existing dwellingsNumber of new dwellings to be built between 2024 and 2051
1Melbourne City Council110,100134,000
2Port Phillip City Council65,80056,000
3Stonnington City Council61,40051,000
4Yarra City Council52,60048,000
5Hobsons Bay City Council40,60031,000
6Maribyrnong City Council43,10049,000
7Moonee Valley City Council56,90057,000
8Merri-Bek City Council81,00072,000
9Darebin City Council70,20072,000
10Banyule City Council54,30047,000
11Boroondara City Council74,60067,000
12Manningham City Council51,00039,000
13Whitehorse City Council74,20079,000
14Monash City Council78,30072,000
15Glen Eira City Council68,00065,000
16Bayside City Council44,10031,000
17Kingston City Council69,10059,000
18Wyndham City Council109,300120,000
19Melton City Council69,300132,000
20Brimbank City Council73,20072,000
21Hume City Council89,40098,000
22Whittlesea City Council88,10087,000
23Mitchell City Council21,80068,000
24Nillumbik City Council22,70012,000
25Yarra Ranges City Council62,70028,000
26Maroondah City Council48,00044,000
27Knox City Council63,10047,000
28Greater Dandenong City Council59,40057,000
29Frankston City Council59,80036,000
30Casey City Council131,000104,000
31Cardinia Shire Council46,40036,000
32Mornington Peninsula Shire Council94,90031,000
Total Number of Existing vs. New Dwellings
Proposed New by 2051

While the draft housing targets are a welcome announcement for the property development industry, there is no clarity on how these targets will actually be met to ensure that the housing stock is constructed within these timeframes or the preferred typology and siting of the dwellings.

There is no detail on:

  • How the LGA targets will actually be met? For example:
    • Will there be a move towards ‘code assessable’ developments and other forms of accelerated approval pathways for projects that meet relevant design standards?
    • Within each LGA will there be ‘go-go’ areas for this additional housing, by reference to land mapping, so that developers and the community have certainty about future change expectations for an area?
    • What are the minimum density and height targets to be achieved in the ‘go-go’ areas for each LGA (being a mix of minimum lots per hectare for greenfield development and preferred building heights and envelopes for high-rise development)?
    • Will there be a central responsible authority for ‘housing projects’, so that there is consistency in decision making and approval timeframes?
  • What will the process be for monitoring and transparent reporting of progress against LGA targets?
  • What are the consequences for councils if LGA targets are not met?

To have practical and legal effect, the above matters should be addressed as a part of the new Plan for Victoria and Planning and Environment Act reforms.

Additionally, given that planning is only one lever that is currently impacting the development industry in what is currently a very challenging environment, it is critical that the Government consult with the property industry to identify the other policy settings will need to be in place to enable the delivery of the housing stock at pace. For example, the reintroduction of off-the-plan stamp duty concessions, to encourage first home buyers and downsizers to purchase apartments, removal of Windfall Gain Tax (or at least a temporary hold) and the existing large parcels of Government owned land should be unlocked and repurposed.

Gadens Real Estate & Construction Partners are currently working with the Property Council of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia on industry submissions in response to these draft housing targets, which will feed into industry submissions on the Plan for Victoria. If you have any project specific feedback you would like to be considered for these submissions (on a confidential basis), please reach out to Andrea Towson (Chair PCA Planning & Infill Committee, Vic) or Brihony Boan (UDIA Greenfield Committee Member) of Gadens.

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Authored by:
Andrea Towson, Partner
Brihony Boan, Partner
Anthony Tchakerian, Lawyer

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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