Greens want 1 million affordable homes built over 20 years

The Greens have promised to fight for 1 million publicly owned, affordable homes to be built over 20 years if they hold the balance of power after the next federal election:

Greens leader Adam Bandt… said that with so many people locked out of the housing market “we urgently need the government to act and ensure everyone has somewhere secure to call home”.

“The housing market is broken and the government must step in. As well as slashing public housing waiting lists, the government should build good quality homes in good locations that people locked out of the market can afford to buy,” Mr Bandt said.

“In the balance of power, the Greens will kick the Liberals out and push the next government to tax the billionaires so we can build homes everyone can afford”…

The cost of the ambitious election policy – which the Parliamentary Budget Office warns is “uncertain and highly sensitive to the speed of construction” – is an estimated $7.5 billion over four years, and $22.9 billion over 10 years…

The independent PBO also warns in its costings that the per-house cost of $300,000 may not be met because the scheme is so large in scope, while the impact it would have on Australia’s property market “is highly uncertain”.

Under the plan, a new federal Housing Trust would be established to construct and manage the new housing, in partnership with states, territories and community housing providers.

About 125,000 properties would be part of a shared equity ownership scheme, with people able to own between 50-75 per cent of the equity and access a low-interest loan to buy their first home.

When an owner wished to sell the property they would only be able to sell back to the Housing Trust and price growth would be capped at 7.5 per cent per year.

Another 750,000 new public and community housing dwellings would be built to reduce waiting lists and homelessness, while 125,000 so-called universal access rental homes would also be constructed.

This is good policy. However, the Greens should also push back against the federal government’s mass immigration policy, which has promised to import a whopping 235,000 people a year into Australia:

Such extreme levels of immigration is projected to swell Australia’s population by a whopping 13.1 million people (a ~50% increase) – equivalent to adding another Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to our current population:

Australia's projected population growth

In the 20 years leading up to COVID, Australia’s population swelled by 6.6 million people (35%) on the back of mass immigration. So merely repeating this growth again over the next 20 years, let alone exceeding it, would obviously dwarf the Greens’ public housing plan. It is the policy equivalent of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’.

If the Greens want to truly to improve the housing situation in Australia, it should first and foremost oppose the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’, which is destructive to the environment, social equity and living standards.

The first best solution is to stop importing the problems.

Unconventional Economist
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