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What is the Affordable Housing Rental Scheme?

As part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, Homes Victoria’s Affordable Housing Rental Scheme will deliver an initial 2,400 affordable rental homes to address affordability pressures in metropolitan Melbourne and regional city centres, and supply issues in regional Victorian towns. 

All homes under the scheme will be conveniently located, close to shops, transport and workplaces. 

The scheme forms part of the housing continuum and will create an alternative to the private rental market to help low to moderate income Victorian renters access quality housing options within their means. 

A graphic showing the housing continuum from experiencing homelessness to crisis accommodation to transitional accommodation to social housing to affordable housing to private rental and home ownership

Timeline

  • Stakeholder consultation

    April - May 2022

  • Tenancy manager request for tender opened

    26 May 2022

  • Tenancy manager request for tender closed

    11 July 2022

  • First affordable housing rental scheme homes online

    From December 2022

Frequently asked questions

More Victorians than ever are renters, including many who helped Victoria survive the pandemic. They are the essential workers who run our hospitals, schools and aged and disability care facilities, provide emergency and safety services, take away our rubbish and recycling, and make our cities, suburbs and towns work. 

There is a growing gap between the existing private rental market and social housing. Many working households are being priced out of private rental. More than 162,000 households, or 1-in-4 of the 650,000 households in the private rental market, are experiencing rental stress. That means more than 30 per cent of their income is spent on rent, which reduces the money available to pay for other essential expenses. 

Homes Victoria’s affordable housing rental scheme will help address the gap in housing affordability and supply for many low to moderate income households. This includes renters who are experiencing rental stress and cannot afford to buy a home, but who may not be eligible for social housing.  

Under the scheme, 3 year fixed-term rental agreements of will be available to low to moderate income households in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. This will be based on the income eligibility criteria below.  

Essential government funded service delivery workers will also be eligible in areas of workforce shortage in regional Victoria, recognising the importance of these jobs to local communities. This includes essential workers such as nurses, police, teachers and care workers. 

In metropolitan Melbourne, property rentals will be set at least 10 per cent below the market rent of that area. There will also be the protection of a cap set at 30 per cent of a median household income.  

In regional Victoria, supply of affordable housing is a critical challenge. Rents will never be more than the median market rental price, with the same protections of a cap set at 30 per cent of a median household income. There will also be an additional focus on eligibility for essential workers in areas of workforce shortage in regional Victoria.  

Eligible households on the Victorian Housing Register will also have the opportunity to apply for these affordable properties. 

Table 1: Eligible income thresholds

 
Region Single Couple Family
Melbourne Up to $64,020 Up to $96,030 Up to $134,450
Regional Victoria  Up to $46,660 Up to $69,990 Up to $97,980

Proof of income will be required, and rents will be set based on the location and number of bedrooms to ensure that homes are affordable wherever they are located.

Median market rent means the average middle price from a range of low and high rental prices. The affordable housing rental scheme uses the quarterly median rents by local government area reports to understand median rents.

The first affordable rental properties are anticipated to be listed in metropolitan Melbourne from December 2022 and regional Victoria from early 2023. Affordable homes will continue to be listed online throughout 2023, with most homes coming online by 2025.

Available properties will be advertised online by the tenancy manager. The application and allocation process will address key pain points for renters experiencing housing stress and exclusion in the private market. Listings will include further information about the applications process.

Homes Victoria will own the properties and the scheme’s 2,400 tenancies will be managed by a specialised rental tenancy manager. This will enable Homes Victoria to develop and strengthen partnerships with private and community sector tenancy managers, by building their capacity to support future growth of the affordable housing sector and ensuring a quality experience for tenants.

Contact us

Email for updates or send your questions to affordable@homes.vic.gov.au

Translation service

For languages other than English, please call 131 450.