We're in a housing crisis, and in a wealthy country like Australia, it shouldn't be hard to ensure that everyone has a good, affordable place to call home.
Rents have risen over 20% in the last 12 months, with the average mortgage payment in Ryan increasing by about $1,400 per month since 2022. I'm fighting for real relief for these vital cost-of-living issues.
We need a 2-year national rent freeze, relief for mortgage-holders and a huge build of public and affordable housing.
With Labor's Housing Australia Future Fund bill, we're pushing for:
- A minimum of $5 billion invested in social and affordable housing every year (indexed to inflation) and removing the $500 million cap
- A national plan for renters including the Prime Minister putting a national freeze on rent increases on the national cabinet agenda and an immediate doubling of Commonwealth Rent Assistance in the Budget
- $1 billion investment in remote Aboriginal Housing
- All housing through the Fund should meet minimum inclusive design standards (Liveable Housing Australia Silver)
All of this is possible.
Labor's Housing Australia Future Fund
On 15 February 2023, Labor pushed their housing bill to a vote in the House of Representatives. A bill which would see the housing crisis get worse - a plan to build homes that won’t even keep up with the projected increase in public housing need. We’d raised our concerns with their bill, so I was very disappointed that they brought it to a vote without addressing any of them.
Labor’s bill has a target of 30,000 new homes over 5 years, which isn’t even enough to cover the projected increase in social housing need over the same period (75,000 homes), let alone the current shortfall of 640,000. The plan has a spending cap of $500 million per year, which isn’t indexed to inflation, locking in a real cut to housing funding.
What makes it worse is that the $10B future fund is a gamble on the stock market with no guarantee of return. If this policy had been enacted last year the fund would have lost 1.2% of its value. These are pretty reasonable concerns to raise, which makes it all the more disappointing that Labor rammed the bill through the House without amendment.
They’ll still need Greens support to pass this bill in the Senate, which is why my colleagues and I withheld our position pending negotiations. We need to see Labor coming to the table to negotiate and willing to make their plan actually address this crisis. Despite what Labor wants, as Greens reps our job isn’t to roll over and support every inadequate bill they put forward.