Australians are being asked to help create the nation’s long-term plan to address housing affordability and homelessness.
Speaking at the start of Homelessness Week, Federal Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business Julie Collins launched an issues paper asking for feedback to inform development of the ten-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan.
Part of the Labor Government’s election promises, the plan will set out a shared vision to inform future housing and homelessness policy across Australia.
The paper askes for views on housing costs (home ownership and private rental), social housing, homelessness, homelessness services, aboriginal housing, zoning and urban planning, and the impact of climate change and disasters on housing security, sustainability and health.
But there is no mention of immigration and population growth despite this being the primary driver of new housing demand.
The paper’s release comes as the Labor Government has reintroduced the Housing Australian Future Fund Bill into Parliament.
The Bill will establish a $10 billion fund that will build 30,000 new social and affordable homes over the first five years of its operation.
So far, however, moves to pass the legislation have been blocked by the Coalition and the Greens – the latter of which is pressing the Government for further measures to bring immediate support to renters.
The fund is part of efforts under the National Housing Accord which was struck between Commonwealth, State and Local governments last year.
That accord hopes to see construction of one million new homes over five years.
Whilst most states have plans to address housing and homelessness, Australia currently does not have a national plan to address these challenges in a holistic way.
The current National Housing and Homelessness Agreement was slammed by a Productivity Commission report last year as being merely a funding agreement that doe not offer a holistic approach to housing policy.
A national approach to housing is considered important the housing system is affected by policies which fall across Commonwealth, state and local jurisdictions.
Collins says that Australians are encouraged to share their experiences in order to help to inform the plan’s development.
As well as individuals, she encourages local governments, not‑for‑profit and civil society organisations, industry bodies, superannuation funds and other experts in housing, finance and urban development to take part.
Collins says the importance of the strategy should not be understated.
“Too many people are struggling to find a safe and affordable place to buy, to rent or to spend the night,” Collins said.
“Through the National Housing and Homelessness Plan, we will set out how these issues can be tackled head on by governments across the country with short-, medium- and long-term reforms.”
Property industry lobby groups welcomed the paper’s release.
“This initiative is absolutely crucial for Australia to tackle the number one cause of housing and rental stress – the shortage of development ready land created by a lack of enabling infrastructure, zoning, integrated planning and approvals,” said Max Shifman, UDIA National President.
“UDIA congratulates the Government for starting the important conversation on how we get the entire market, community and Governments to pull together to solve our housing crisis.”
Enjoying Sourceable articles? Subscribe for Free and receive daily updates of all articles which are published on our site
Want to grow your sales, reach more new clients and expand your client base across Australia’s design and construction sector?
Advertise on Sourceable and have your business seen by the thousands of architects, engineers, builders/construction contractors, subcontractors/trade contractors, property developers and building industry suppliers who read our stories across the civil, commercial and residential construction sector