MEDIA RELEASE: Housing so broken we now need 1 MILLION new social & affordable homes for Australian renters

News | Mar 13, 2019

Australian needs twice as much social and affordable housing than first thought, with new modelling released today showing we need 1 million new social and affordable rental homes over the next 20 years to meet demand.

The report by UNSW City Futures Research Centre shows the housing Australia will need across the country by 2036 to meet the current shortfall and keep up with population growth.

The report comes as more than 2,400 community leaders and members from almost 200 organisations prepare to fill Sydney Town Hall tonight to seek concrete political commitments on housing affordability and energy costs ahead of the NSW and federal elections.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said the new figures show Australia’s housing crisis is still real for everyday Australian households.

“This new study looks at live ABS and rental stress data to determine how we are meeting the housing needs of low and middle income households in every part of Australia,” Ms Colvin said.

“It shows the housing system is far more broken that we first thought – but it also shows that delivering the scale of new homes for people who need them is entirely doable with political will and commitment.

“According to the modelling, the most cost effective way of providing the 1 million new social and affordable homes we need is for government to invest $8.6 billion a year in capital grants for not for profit, rather than for profit housing development.

“To put it in perspective, the Australian Government currently spends $11.8 billion in subsidies for property investors through negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

“That’s already twice as much as it is spending on social housing, homelessness and rent assistance put together.

“We need to rebalance the Budget and really redirect the funding for housing to where it’s needed most so that everybody in Australia has a home.

The Everybody’s Home Alliance of key housing and homelessness peaks, community groups and organisations and charities is asking all parties to support a plan to:

  1. Prioritise home buyers by reducing negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions – and use the revenue it raises to help fund more social and affordable housing options for ordinary Australians
  2. Develop a national strategy for providing 500,000 social and affordable rental homes
  3. Support renters by ending no grounds evictions and unfair rent rises
  4. Provide immediate relief for Australians in chronic housing stress by increasing rent assistance to reflect increasing housing costs; and
  5. A real plan to end homelessness in Australia.

“The massive turn out for the Sydney Town Hall Assembly tonight shows that housing and cost of living is a key issue that’s biting deeply in the electorate, particularly for millions of Australians locked out of the housing market, struggling to pay the rent, being unfairly evicted from their homes, or at risk of homelessness,” Ms Colvin said.

“Voters still rank addressing housing affordability as the fourth most important issue for the Government to address over the next 12 months, ahead of ahead of limiting Australia’s migration.

“We need to rebalance the Budget and really redirect the funding for housing to where it’s needed most so that everybody in Australia has a home.”

Starting from tonight right up to the federal election the Everybody’s Home Alliance will be mobilising supporters across the country to make housing a key election issue.