The Victorian Government’s plans to stop paying social housing rates, which would have led to a $540 million council funding shortfall, have been cancelled following immense council and community backlash.

The Northern Councils Alliance (NCA) has been vocal in it’s support of cancelling the plan, due to concerns that the government’s proposal would leave northern Melbourne communities with increased rates bills and less services, all to subsidise new social housing developments in other parts of Victoria with lower social housing stock.

In an official statement, the  NCA said that the Victorian Government’s plan to stop paying rates on 70,000 social housing dwellings in metro Melbourne and regional Victorian cities, would have directly affected communities and diverted funds from everyday services like waste management, maternal and child health and parks.

The Alliance said that the plan would also have impacted Melbourne’s north, which is home to some of the highest proportions of social housing and the most socio-economically disadvantaged communities in Victoria.

”Flow on effects would also amount to an estimated $1.6 billion hit to Victorian local governments over ten years, impacting the level of services and infrastructure delivery for residents, according to recent research by the Municipal Association of Victoria and FinPro,”the NCA said. .

The ”Social housing in the north must be prioritised for immediate upgrades and modernisation in a fair and equal way, following decades of underinvestment and neglect by successive state governments.”

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