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MEDIA RELEASE: Improved Budget forecast should trigger social housing investment

Media releases | Sep 19, 2019

National housing campaign Everybody’s Home is calling on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to use the improved budget position announced today to resource investment in desperately needed social housing infrastructure for Australians who are homeless or struggling in chronic rental stress.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said there was ample evidence that providing safe and affordable homes for people would have long-term economic benefits, particularly if the new homes are near jobs and transport.

Investment in social housing as essential infrastructure is also a proven economic stimulus.

“Social and affordable housing requires the same builders, plumbers and contractors as any other housing to construct, which creates both jobs and economic activity,” Ms Colvin said,

“A[1]HURI has forecast Australia will need 730,000 more social housing properties by 2036 to fill the massive gap we have now after years of under investment, and to keep pace with population growth.

“Using the Budget surplus to kick start work on meeting this need, and at the same time reinvigorating the economy makes absolute sense.”

Ms Colvin said social housing levels have dropped from between 6% and 7% to 4.2% nationally.

“At the same time homelessness has grown to almost record highs, with 116,000 Australians homeless in Australia on any night.

“Post war Australia was building 14,000 social housing properties a year. That figure is now closer to 3,000 so there is no surprise homelessness is reaching crisis levels.

“The improved budget position is a real opportunity for the government to lead a national effort to address homelessness and support the 811,000 Australian households in rent stress before we reach the point of no return,” Ms Colvin said.

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

[1]https://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/29059/AHURI-Final-Report-306-Social-housing-as-infrastructure-an-investment-pathway.pdf

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