The Australian Greens have called for 500,000 new homes, 40,0000 new construction jobs and 4,000 new apprenticeships as a means to starve off a coronavirus related recession.

Launching the plan on Tuesday, the Greens have called for the creation of 500, 000 new homes throughout the country.

The plan would see 40,000 new public houses constructed each year.

The homes would be built using local materials and would be designed to achieve 7 Star NatHERS ratings.

The initiative is part of a Green New Deal being pursued by the Greens – a plan which the party says will address climate and economic issues whilst creating long-term jobs in future-proof industries.

In a statement, Bandt said the plan would improve the environmental sustainability of housing stock, providing economic stimulus in the face of coronavirus challenges, deliver opportunities for young Australians in construction and address an ongoing shortages in public housing.

On the last issue, data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggests that 149,400 applicants sat on public housing waiting lists throughout Australia as at June 30, 2018.

“With coronavirus and the climate crisis smashing our economy, we’re heading towards a cliff but Scott Morrison is refusing to grab the steering wheel,” Bandt said.

“We’re heading towards a recession and Australia needs a construction-led stimulus that fixes the housing crisis and helps young people find decent jobs.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are on public housing waiting lists or homeless because governments haven’t built new dwellings for years, but now is the right time for the government to fix the problem while keeping us out of recession.”

The statement did not say how much the policy would cost or how it would be funded.

Property industry lobby groups supported the call.

Speaking particularly of the situation in New South Wales, Urban Taskforce chief executive office Tom Forrest said the state suffered from ongoing shortages in housing supply.

“Adam Bandt has belled the cat. The construction sector has dropped off and in NSW and this is set to get worse with new home approvals now at 2012 levels,” Forrest said.

“This means urgent and innovative reform is needed to get planning approvals through the NSW Planning System.”

“After years of fighting with Green politicians on Council and in Parliaments, Urban Taskforce welcomes the new leader of the Greens Party and his focus on economic realities.”