The Swan Hill Rural City Council area, like many rural communities across Victoria, is experiencing a housing shortfall, impacting jobs and Gross Regional Product significantly.
A report, commissioned by Rural Councils Victoria, recommends that the state government commits to a rural worker housing program providing recurrent payments to those willing to build, own and operate rental housing to mitigate employee shortages.
The analysis studied conditions in 38 local government areas across the state, excluding Melbourne and highly urbanised regional councils.
Swan Hill Rural City Council’s Mayor, Cr Jade Benham said “it is no secret that a housing shortfall has been a major barrier for the whole of the municipality, and Robinvale in particluar, for quite some time.”
“Council has been implementing the Robinvale Housing Strategy – including working with seasonal worker housing providers, and has initiated the new Ronald Street Housing Development which commenced recently.”
These shortages are now being felt right across our municipality.
“Housing supply shortfalls have a significant impact on rural communities – with unfilled jobs, loss of productivity and ultimately a negative impact on our Gross Regional Product,” Cr Benham said.
Cr Benham said every sector was currently being impacted.
“Initially agriculture was our worst hit sector, and it is still significantly impacted, however every sector is now being seriously affected by a shortage of housing.”
“There are many factors influencing these shortages including a lack of available developed land and the cost of putting in infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewerage systems,” Cr Benham added.
Cr Benham said that Council would continue to work with State and Federal Governments to alleviate the current housing crisis.
For more information please call Council on 03 5036 2333.