As waiting lists continue to grow, a bold new approach will give social housing organisations more power to build, buy and rent homes for vulnerable Victorians.

For the first time ever, organisations will be able to utilise a $1 billion fund and access low interest loans using the borrowing power of the Victorian Government.

Announced today, the practical changes mean more social housing than ever for Victorians in need.

The $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund, a collaboration between government, the private and philanthropic sectors, will provide dedicated assistance to community housing associations to help support up to 2200 households.

Set up using capital provided by the Government, the returns will be used as a funding stream to build new social and affordable homes, and subsidise rent for Victorians in need of housing assistance.

At the same time, the loan program – the first of its kind in Australia – will allow registered housing associations to borrow funds for new homes at a lower interest rate.

By acting as guarantor, the Government will help these associations spend less on interest, and more on helping Victorians in need.

A further $100 million in low-cost loans will also be made available to registered housing associations.

The management of 4000 public housing properties will be transferred to the community housing sector to improve services to tenants through better property management, local housing services, access to support services and grow social housing. The Government will work with partners and stakeholders during the transition.

The Government will also push the Commonwealth for a long term commitment to the National Affordable Housing Agreement, with modelling showing their cuts would mean Victoria would lose $360 million and 56,000 Victorians denied access to homelessness services.

Today’s announcements kick off the rollout of the Andrews Labor Government’s housing strategy.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“We’re taking real action to provide more housing for Victorians in need, launching an Australian first loan program that will help housing organisations boost housing numbers.”

It will mean these organisations can spend less on interest, and more on helping Victorians in need.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

“This investment will ensure that social housing continues to increase and homes are provided to who need it most.”

“With no signs of leadership from the Turnbull Government, we will partner with the community housing sector to provide people with access to more safe, secure and affordable housing.”