The Victorian government is calling for more land to be put forward for social and affordable housing in regional Victoria, with Moorabool and Golden Plains considered priority areas.
Rental market data shows housing affordability in regional Victoria has fallen to its lowest level since data was first collected in 2000.
Housing Minister Richard Wynne said the government was calling on landowners and developers in regional Victoria to put forward developments and vacant land that could be turned into social or affordable housing.
They are encouraged to partner with community housing providers, local government and other organisations to submit proposals to Homes Victoria.
The action is part of Victoria's $5.3 billion Big Housing Build.
A round of $80 million funding for regional Victoria will focus on purchasing new homes, house and land packages and developable land that is zoned for residential use.
Safe and secure housing is a major factor in helping get a person's life on track and address any issues they may experience.- Bronwyn Pike, Uniting Vic.Tas chief executive
Proposals will be assessed for their proximity to retail, schools and transport, among other guidelines.
All regional Victorian areas will be considered, with a preference list that includes Moorabool and Golden Plains local government areas.
Other priority areas include Greater Geelong, LaTrobe, Greater Shepparton, Baw Baw, Mildura, Macedon Ranges, East and South Gippsland, Horsham, Wellington, Mount Alexander, Alpine and Surf Coast.
Mr Wynne said demand for social and affordable housing was growing.
"That's why we're delivering more housing for Victorians in need, as well as low and moderate income households, while creating thousands of jobs," he said in a statement.
Almost 2400 people accessed Ballarat's homelessness services in the last financial year.
Of those, 1296 were deemed at risk of homelessness, with 1096 being actively homeless at the time of support. 570 were children.
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Golden Plains Shire Council adopted the Golden Plains Social Housing Plan 2021-2024 in July setting out actions and information to leverage off the Big Housing Build.
Council research found there were only eight social housing properties in Golden Plains Shire and a need for an additional 113.
Almost 200 people in Golden Plains Shire were living in rent stress, paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent and 17 were homeless, according to 2016 Census data.
In the 12 months to June 2020, 0.4 per cent of all rental listings would have been affordable to a household on a very low income.
Data showed there were high rates of rental stress in and around Smythesdale and Bannockburn.
Uniting Vic.Tas chief executive Bronwyn Pike said an affordable, secure, and safe place to live was the foundation for all people to live healthy and dignified lives as active participants in our community.
"Safe and secure housing is a major factor in helping get a person's life on track and address any issues they may experience," she said.
Ms Pike said the Big Housing Build was welcomed as a step in the right direction but more must be done at all government and community service levels to find and deliver on innovative solutions.
"Building social housing is only one part of the solution," she said.
"Consideration must be given to mechanisms such as mandating 10 per cent social and affordable housing in all new developments to capture a fair share of property development profits for the common good.
"We need to use all the resources available to us, including planning laws, to ensure social and affordable housing is always at the forefront."
Submissions to Homes Victoria are due by October 7.