Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia Shire
- This is Cardinia Shire Council’s webpage with everything you ever needed to know about Social and Affordable Housing.
- Contact the Social Planning and Project Officer for more information: email@example.com
- Everyone deserves access to affordable housing. It is an important art of building liveable communities
- As our shire continues to grow rapidly over the next 20 years the local population and number of houses is expected to more than double by 2031.
- Local research shows that homelessness is a significant but sometimes hidden issue in our community.
- You can sign up to register your interest in social and affordable housing and homelessness
Cardinia Shire Council’s Social and Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2025
While Cardinia Shire may seem more affordable compared to other parts of Melbourne, a growing number of lower income and vulnerable residents don’t have access to housing that is affordable for their income level.
The private market is not delivering housing options for everyone. There is a shortage of smaller dwellings available for single and couple households, and a lack of appropriate housing for people with special needs.
In response to this, Council has developed a 7-year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy, which outlines how we will work with local agencies towards increasing access to diverse, high quality, sustainable and affordable housing that is responsive to the needs of a growing and diverse community.
Housing rights are human rights
Here is a video which introduces Cardinia Shire Council’s Social and Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2025. Hear some of the heart-wrenching stories of our local families who were so thankful to have access to Social and Affordable Housing to provide a safe, secure, and stable place to grow from.
What is Social and Affordable Housing?
Social Housing is the umbrella term that includes both;
- Public housing – owned and managed by the State Government which is usually rented by people who are on Centrelink benefits, and
- Community housing – owned and/or managed by an agency regulated by the Victorian Housing Registrar (not-for-profit organisations) which is usually rented out by people on Centrelink benefits or who earn a low wage.
People apply to be in social housing through the Victorian Housing Register, and this means people on the register can apply for public and community housing. When people apply to the Victorian Housing Register, they are also categorised based on need. These categories are “Register of Interest” for people seeking social housing and have an asset limit of $36,340, and “Priority Access” for people who are homeless, escaping family violence, live with a disability, or need to move due to health reasons, and have an asset limit of $14,364.
Social housing is also only allocated to households that are below certain income limits. As of April 2023, Income Limits for applicants on Register of Interest and Priority Access are:
Table 1: Income Limits, Register of Interest applicants
New weekly limit
Couple, no dependants
Family (one or two parents) with up to two dependent children
Each additional dependant
Source: Department of Families, Fairness, and Housing 2023
The approximate total number of applicants on the Victorian Housing Register for Register of Interest in the Cardinia area is 5,041 applicants.
Table 2: Income Limits, Priority Access applicants
New weekly limit
Couple, no dependants
Family (one or two parents) with one dependent child
Each additional dependant
Source: Department of Families, Fairness, and Housing 2023
The approximate total number of applicants on the Victorian Housing Register for Priority Access in the Cardinia area is 2,397 applicants.
Affordable Housing is housing which includes social housing, but is appropriate for very low-, low- and moderate-income households. This eligibility criteria are different from social housing.
Appropriate housing means:
- There is a fair process to ensure the housing goes to people who need it.
- The rent or purchase price is affordable for that household (generally no more than 30 per cent of household income).
- The dwelling looks and performs well and is integrated into the neighbourhood.
- The housing is located close to amenities, employment, and transport.
For the purposes of calculating the very low, low, and moderate-income households, the Victorian State government sets income ranges every year depending on the median income across the state. These income ranges do not apply to social housing, they are only for those who are not on the VHR. The 2022-23 income ranges are listed in Table 3.
Table 3: Income Ranges for Affordable Housing for Cardinia Shire
Source: Victorian Government Gazette, dated 23 June 2022
Affordable housing also includes a broad range of other possible housing types that are not public or community housing but are ‘appropriate to the needs’ of very low-, low- and moderate-income households, provided they address the points listed above.
The diagram below illustrates where social and affordable housing fit across all housing. It is usual for most of us to be in private rental or private ownership housing, but there are other kinds of housing in our society.
Figure 1: The Housing Continuum identifying Social and Affordable Housing
Source: Compiled by Social Planning and Project Officer, Cardinia Shire Council 2023
Why is Social and Affordable Housing needed in Cardinia Shire?
The need for Social and Affordable Housing is measured by several factors, which include the number of:
- Homeless people;
- Households in rental stress; and
- Households in social housing.
In 2021, Cardinia had 337 people registered as homeless, 2,596 households (30%) living in Rental Stress, and there were 423 social housing dwellings. The proportion of households having trouble paying rent to those having trouble paying their mortgage was similar, however there were marginally more renters in stress. Therefore, the total number of Social and Affordable Housing needed in Cardinia, as of 2023, is 2,510 affordable dwellings.
Who lives in Social and Affordable Housing?
It’s important to remember that anyone and everyone can live in social and affordable housing – the list of households who need housing support is growing rapidly, and most recently we are learning that households with teachers, nurses, childcare workers, and similarly waged professions are also part of that growing list of households needing access to Social and Affordable Housing.
Many people who live in social housing once owned or rented in our community, but due to a change in their situation now rely on social housing to help them get back on their feet or improve their quality of life. For people with an enduring illness or disability, a reduced ability to work and additional costs to their costs of living, makes them more at risk of homelessness and more reliant on social housing to survive.
For people who need access to Social and Affordable Housing, they must apply to be on the Victorian Housing Register (VHR). Once they are on the list, they are then eligible to be allocated a dwelling. However, as of December 2022, there were 67,120 applications on the VHR (grown from 63,744 in December 2021) so the wait times to be allocated a house is years.
Who own and manages Social and Affordable Housing?
Social Housing is owned and managed by the Victorian Government (this is called ‘public housing’) or by a not-for-profit community housing organisation (this is called ‘community housing’).
In some cases, people living in social housing are provided with specialist support through staff that either live on-site or visit regularly.
What does Social and Affordable Housing look like?
Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia Shire does not look like the big public housing towers you see in the city – it looks just like any other housing in your neighbourhood. From the street, you cannot see the difference between social housing and regular housing, which is probably why you haven’t noticed any of the existing social and affordable housing in Cardinia Shire. The appearance of social and affordable housing is also maintained by the social housing property and tenancy on-site manager.
Not all social housing is apartments – it can be houses, units or townhouses to fit in with the look of the local neighbourhood. Just like with any other development in our community, most social housing developments go through Council’s planning process and must meet the provisions of the Cardinia Shire Council Planning Scheme.
Will my property value be affected by Social and Affordable Housing in my neighbourhood?
Absolutely not. As previously explained in this Fact Sheet the kind of tenants and the aesthetic of the Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia Shire is what can be expected from any private property which has been leased or sold. As most of the Social and Affordable Housing is suited to areas which have access to good public transport, amenities, jobs, and open space, they are usually preferred in areas which have the highest land value.
Studies from City of Port Phillip with Social and Affordable Housing show they do not detrimentally impact surrounding property values.
Will my safety be affected by social housing in my neighbourhood?
There is an unfair stigma attached to Social and Affordable Housing as only being associated with anti-social behaviour, drug use and crime. Law abiding people from children to older people can be hit with homelessness or needing Social and Affordable Housing through a range of unfortunate circumstances. Most people living in Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia were already living in our community and have simply fallen on hard times.
The safety of an area is linked to many factors, and this includes how well people’s health and wellbeing is supported. As a society, we are fortunate to have health, policing, and justice systems in place to support our communities. Our systems are also under reform for better support with the State implementing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Reducing homelessness is also a protective factor for people’s health and can help them sustain or build positive connections in the community.
In many social housing developments, there are on-site staff. This means there is oversight of people living in social housing and someone to turn to if you have any queries or concerns. This adds additional security compared to regular residential developments.
Social and Affordable Housing is being proposed in my neighbourhood – what should I do?
Cardinia Shire needs more Social and Affordable Housing to meet the demands of our local community. If social housing is proposed in your neighbourhood, we encourage you:
- consider who will benefit from the housing – it could even be someone in the community that you know right now, or someone from your family in the future.
- understand the details of what is being proposed.
- understand the planning process and if you do want to lodge an objection to a planning permit then you should restrict your objection to planning matters (like traffic or built-form, rather than commentary on the potential tenants).
- talk to the Council about your concerns.
Community Information Sheet about Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia
Developer Information Sheet for Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia
Community Housing Agencies Information Sheet about Social and Affordable Housing in Cardinia
Please contact Council should you have any more queries or questions; we have a dedicated resource to this portfolio. Please reference your communication with Social and Affordable Housing.
Phone: 1300 787 624
Where to find help
You can also contact the following housing and social suppport services directly:
Help with finding accommodation
- Contact WAYSS on (03) 9791 6111 or (03) 9703 0044
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Services that provide financial support or free meals
Crisis and social support services
Discounts and services for eligible households in Victoria
If you're having difficulty paying your rates
Support for the families of young children
- Cardinia Shire’s supported playgroups give children of vulnerable families (aged up to 4) opportunities to play, while supporting parents and carers with referrals and professional assistance.