Housing policy was a key focus of the Budget reply speech of Labor leader Anthony Albanese.
Albanese committed to establishing a Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 affordable homes, as part of a $10 billion social housing package. The proposal would effectively give the Future Fund $10 billion, which would then use the earnings to invest in public low-cost housing for people such as frontline workers and victims of domestic violence.
From The Age:
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The housing policy aims to use $10 billion in government bonds to put cash in a new Housing Australia Future Fund to be managed by the existing Future Fund, with the earnings spent on affordable housing.
The policy assumes it could invest in 20,000 social housing properties in its first five years as well as 10,000 affordable housing properties for frontline workers.
This would create 21,500 jobs…
Don’t get me wrong, investing in social housing is a great idea since it would help to alleviate the scourge of homelessness and insecure housing, while also providing direct economic stimulus. So on this front, Labor should be commended.
However, 30,000 dwellings over 5 years (6,000 per year) is bugger all compared against 700,000 new dwellings the social housing sector says will be needed over the next 15 years. It won’t keep pace with population growth, given Labor also seems intent on rebooting the mass immigration program, according to shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers:
“Much of the growth before COVID-19 relied heavily on population growth”.
“So clearly, it’s not sustainable for us to have closed borders for longer than is necessary.”
Thus, this policy is more tokenism than substance.
C’mon Albo. Show some backbone.