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How we will ensure housing supply meets demand

Plan Melbourne and a range of housing planning initiatives will make sure that housing supply in Victoria keeps up with demand.

Victoria’s population is growing at more than 100,000 people a year. Housing approvals are currently running at record levels.

Planning uncertainty and the time and costs of getting planning approval, limit the supply of available new homes.

The lack of housing supply keeps prices high. Slow approvals by councils and utilities delay developers and drive up costs.

We have a plan to keep housing approvals at an average of more than 50,000 new homes a year.

We plan to:

  • speed up development approvals in the inner and middle suburbs
  • zone more growth corridor land for future development
  • speed up planning approvals for new subdivisions
  • address current planning backlogs

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning manages these Housing Strategy Planning Initiatives.

Plan Melbourne 2017–2050

The updated Plan Melbourne 2017–2050 provides a clear framework for how to maintain and manage growth and development in metropolitan Melbourne. 

Regional Growth Plans

Regional Growth Plans will guide growth in regional Victoria. These plans provide direction for land use and development.

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) will work with councils, local stakeholders, businesses and community leaders to plan regional growth.

We are providing more funding to regional councils through the Streamlining for Growth program.

Land supply in Melbourne’s growth areas

The Victorian Planning Authority is developing precinct structure plans for new communities. These plans ensure that new communities have jobs, schools, hospitals, public transport, roads and social housing nearby.

Each of Melbourne’s new suburbs will have a precinct structure plan. The plan will say what services and infrastructure the suburb needs. It will also show how they will be delivered.

17 new precinct structure plans will deliver an extra 100,000 lots of zoned land by December 2018. 

Precinct structure plans also give private industry a clear idea of how land will be released over the coming decades. This will help them plan to be part of these communities. 

Speeding up local government planning decisions

New projects take more time if there are planning delays. The supply of housing slows down and planning is more expensive.

There are many possible causes for planning delays. They include long approval times for subdivision plans, local roads, drainage, water, energy and telecommunication services.

A pilot Streamlining for Growth program has supported local councils to reduce delays in approvals. 

We are extending the Streamlining for Growth program for 4 more years.

Extended VicSmart for faster and simpler planning processes 

The VicSmart program is a streamlined way to apply for planning permits. VicSmart applications have a 10 day turnaround. VicSmart applications are not available for all types of planning applications. 

We have extended the VicSmart program to include more types of applications.

The program makes it easier for people to apply even if they haven’t applied for a planning permit before. This means that local council and state planning staff can focus on permits that need more analysis.

Our target is to fast track 30% of permits through an extended VicSmart program. We will aim for a 10 day turnaround. 

Transport infrastructure to support housing

Victorians are spending more time getting to and from work.

Plan Melbourne will ensure that we plan our new communities well, curb urban sprawl and keep existing communities liveable. 

We’ve also started some transport projects to reduce the time Victorians spend getting to and from work. 

Our initiatives include:

  • the Metro Tunnel, linking growth areas to the job centres of Sunshine, Arden, Domain, Monash and Dandenong
  • the West Gate Tunnel project with its second river crossing
  • removal of 50 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings
  • a massive investment in regional V/Line services

Reviewed 29 January 2019