Housing and homelessness

What we are asking

Urgent investment in social and affordable housing: 
• Measures to balance up to 5,500 short-stay rentals (one of the highest numbers in Australia) with available long-term rentals. 
• Urgent support for crisis accommodation on the Peninsula.
 • Mandatory inclusionary zoning for developer contributions to social or affordable housing. 
• Support for key worker accommodation to safeguard local jobs and businesses. 
• Improved public transport on the Mornington Peninsula to ensure access to jobs and services. 
• Urgent release of state-owned land for social and affordable housing. 


Support for local homeless services: 
• Support for two outreach workers (Western Port and southern Peninsula) to engage directly with residents without a home or in housing stress. 
• Funding for the creation of a ‘by name list’ to support rough sleepers on the Peninsula. 
• Funding for agencies on the Mornington Peninsula providing preventative case managed support to people who are at high risk of homelessness. 
• Funding contributions for our community support centres who receive little and, in some cases, no funding. 


Reform of the homeless service system: 
• A more integrated and person-centred system.

What makes this unique

The cost of owning or renting a home on the Mornington Peninsula is rising fast – it is now more expensive to live on the Peninsula than in Melbourne. 

Rental increases in lower socio-economic townships like Tootgarook, Rye, Rosebud and Hastings are worsened by rental property shortages as many holiday homeowners are moving here and working from home. 

We have a comparatively small rental market that is targeted towards short-stay tourism accommodation with 5,500 short term holiday rentals on the Peninsula. 

Low-income local residents are being forced out of the region – away from their families and support networks. Our tourism and hospitality sectors are struggling to attract workers due to a lack of affordable accommodation.


Why is this important

Rising rents and property values means there is a growing number of local residents who are at serious risk of becoming homeless on the Peninsula. This includes many elderly residents. 

Women and children are also disproportionally affected, often due to family violence. 

There is no dedicated crisis accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula. The unmet demand is clear: temporary crisis housing at The Ranch Motel has seen all 13 rooms full almost every day since it opened more than a year ago. 

With the imminent closure of The Ranch, the dire lack of crisis accommodation will reach breaking point. Inadequate public transport makes accessing crisis accommodation and services off the Peninsula unviable.


The benefits – supporting evidence and strategies

The number of people waiting for social housing on the Mornington Peninsula is growing. There are now 3,000 applicants on the waiting list on the Port Phillip side of the Peninsula and over 1000 applicants on the Western Port side of the Peninsula. About 90% of these applicants are eligible for Priority Access. 

Our community faces significant social and economic challenges: 
• Six towns suffer housing stress higher than the Australian average. 
• 35% of residents are in rental stress. 
• 12% of homeless residents sleep rough every night (the fourth worst LGA in Victoria). 
• Median weekly household income is $1,276, much less than in Greater Melbourne ($1,542). 
• The median rent for a home on the Peninsula is now significantly higher than the Greater Melbourne average. ($100 higher per week) 
• Fewer than one in three Peninsula rental properties are affordable to those on a low income. 
• Just 1.1% of houses sold are affordable to those on a low income. 


The economic impact of COVID-19 hit the Mornington Peninsula particularly hard, with a 9.31% reduction in Gross Regional Product (compared to 6.9% across Australia) and a 3.2% reduction in employment, estimated at 1,681 jobs. 


The Peninsula community experiences higher rates of alcohol and gambling-related harm than comparable regions across Victoria. During consultation for our Triple A Housing Plan 2020-2030, our community called for: 
• Council to make a larger contribution to housing 
• additional crisis accommodation options provided away from the foreshore 
• Council to take the lead on projects that provide targeted support for identified groups 
• more certainty, opportunity and a fast-track approval processes for developers wishing to build affordable housing, including small housing and second dwellings. 

Our Triple A Housing Plan calls for the delivery of Council land for a housing project every three years (or a financial contribution, subject to the normal budget process). 

We are now leveraging Council-owned land parcels with social and affordable housing providers to partner with us. A parallel community engagement process on this subject is also underway. 

We also subsidise the operation of three Community Support Centres at Rosebud, Mornington and Hastings, as well as the Peninsula Housing Network and the Peninsula Community Legal Centre. With inadequate state government funding, Council contributes nearly $1 million annually to keep these services operating.