Housing and labour shortages

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One side-effect of the pandemic has been an increase in residents shifting from metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victoria. The enforced and prolonged period of working from home in 2020 as a measure to halt the spread of coronavirus is becoming standard practice for many workplaces and is tipped to be an ongoing part of future employment.

While this intrastate migration is providing regional economies with a boost, it is also contributing to a housing shortage in the region. Housing and labour shortages are two sides of the same coin.

Due to the pandemic and the restrictions on inbound travel, tourism, hospitality, horticulture and other sectors, do not have access to overseas workers such as Working Holiday Makers and seasonal workers, on whom many businesses have come to rely for labour. Attracting employees from outside the local area, particularly on a seasonal basis, is made more difficult when there is no accommodation (rental or otherwise) available. The housing shortage is an acute issue in other regional areas around the country, including nearby Surf Coast Shire 

However, with a quarter of the $5 billion Big Housing Build program allocated to regional Victoria, there is an opportunity to build more affordable housing in Moyne which could increase supply and help to attract more metropolitan workers, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. With the local construction industry accounting for 13 per cent of Moyne’s economy, building community housing in Moyne will not only bolster this important industry but promote the diversification of the local economy.