The foundations are laid for more housing
The Albanese Government’s plan for more affordable housing – a key election promise – got the green light from the Federal Parliament yesterday. It’s the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF), and the aim is to build 30,000 affordable homes across Oz in the next 5 years. It’s a win for Labor following a protracted battle to get the Greens on board – that happened earlier this week after promising to kick in an extra $1 billion for public/community housing (but not getting their way on a national rent freeze). The Coalition never bent on their opposition to the HAFF, but many housing and homelessness support services say it will make “an enormous difference” to Australia’s housing crisis.
WHEN DOES CONSTRUCTION START?
There’s no date set ATM, and that’s because of how the fund is structured… So how it’s gonna work is the government will drop $10 billion into an investment fund and will use the annual returns to build the homes, but long story short, Team Albanese has promised to spend at least $500 million a year. Housing Minister Julie Collins says she anticipates “it will take weeks, hopefully, less than a couple of months” to get it up and running. Something else not set in stone is where the homes will be built, but they’ve promised to build at least 1,200 in each state and territory in areas of peak demand. And there are targets on whom the government wants to help – at least 4,000 of the homes are earmarked for women and children impacted by domestic and family violence and older women at risk of homelessness.
WHAT’S THE RESPONSE BEEN?
Affordable housing campaigner Maiy Azize says the plan is welcome, but it’s not a fix-all. “We’ve got a shortfall of 640,000 homes across the country,” she says. But construction is an expensive business, and the government’s putting all its eggs in the HAFF basket. The other issue is who will build the homes… Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn says they predict a shortfall in builders from 2025, alongside “a significant uptick” in the number of homes needing to be built. A lot could change by then, but the latest employment figures back up Wawn’s comments… A record number of people found work in August, leaving the jobless rate steady at 3.7 per cent.
Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...
The Squiz Today
Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.
Also Making News
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.