A MAMMOTH Bendigo social housing build will not solve wider house shortages and skyrocketing costs, experts have told a parliamentary inquiry.
Infrastructure Victoria says fast growing Victorian areas will need up to 4900 extra social homes, depending on population growth.
Bendigo could be one of the areas needing additional homes, the independent advisory body said in a submission to a Victorian inquiry.
"At the same time, the condition of existing social housing stock is deteriorating," it said in the document, which is among submissions the inquiry has recently published.
The government's plans to solve that problem took a massive hit a month ago after it was forced to revoke a plan to make developers and councils pay for it.
Developers baulked at the idea of a new tax, while councils like the City of Greater Bendigo opposed the impact on their rates bases.
The backdown will not affect the government's once in a generation $5.3 billion social housing build to address decades of underinvestment, $85 million of which is earmarked for Bendigo.
Infrastructure Victoria has told the inquiry the state should aim for 4.5 social housing homes for every 100 households by 2031.
Bendigo residents are already exposed in a period of housing shortages and high costs.
A quarter of all residents are thought to be vulnerable to a housing crisis or eviction because of rental or mortgage stress, the city's council has told the inquiry.
Its submission, dated to 28 February, recommends a slew of solutions including smaller housing better suited to smaller families and couples, faster planning applications and clearer affordable housing guidelines.
In the month since it lodged its submission, the council has promised to form a response to social justice advocates calling for developers to set aside more social housing.
The council is yet to formally respond but some councillors have said the petition echoes ideas voiced in previous plans adopted as municipal policy.
On Wednesday, the Regional Australia Institute set out a series of potential solutions at the launch of a discussion paper in Bendigo.
They included a regional home loan guarantee, incentives for regional tradespeople and eased restrictions on relocatable homes, more regional density housing.
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The solutions would need action from all levels of government, regional development minister Mary-Anne Thomas said as she launched the paper.
"With historic highs of migration to our regions, we know there's more to do and Victoria stands ready to support our regions to manage the challenges that this growth can bring," she said.
Whatever solutions win support, it would be a mistake to think of regional areas simply as pressure valves for Melbourne's growth pains, Infrastructure Victoria told the inquiry.
Much of regional Victoria's infrastructure is smaller and has different energy and water challenges, for example.
"It would also require a vastly different infrastructure investment program, which cannot be assumed to result in savings," Infrastructure Victoria said.
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