MEDIA RELEASE: It’s time for the Treasurer to get out of the boardroom

Media releases | Feb 19, 2019

National housing campaign Everybody’s Home today called on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to follow yesterday’s negative gearing round table with the heads of the real estate and developer industries with meeting ordinary Australians and home buyers living with crippling rental stress and housing costs.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said more than 811,000 Australian households are suffering from rental stress as a result of housing system that privileges property in speculation over the simple right to have a home.

“The government currently spends $11.8 billion[1]on housing assistance for property investors through negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions – almost twice as much as it spends on social housing, rent assistance and homelessness put together[2],” Ms Colvin said.

“There’s almost unanimous agreement by everyone, that we need to look beyond the self-interest of the already lucky. We need to look at these investor perks, which are the most generous in the world, to correct the balance between people buying their seventh investment property and people just wanting to buy a home.

“Yesterday Mr Frydenberg and his assistant treasurer sat down with the heads of the real estate and development industries. It’s now time for them to also listen to ordinary Australians about the impact this policy is having outside the boardroom.

“It’s time to start listening to experts such as the Productivity Commission and the Reserve Bank to find a sensible way of resetting these concessions so that our housing system works for everyone.”

So far more than 200 organisations and 20,000 Australians have joined the Everybody’s Home alliance, calling on all political parties to release policy commitments ahead of the election for fixing Australia’s broken housing system.

On 14 March hundreds of organisations representing more than 2 million Australians will pack Sydney Town Hall to demand urgent action to alleviate housing and energy costs for ordinary Australian households.

More than 2,100 community leaders and members will attend the assembly, alongside leading experts in housing, planning, and energy – making it the biggest public event about key cost of living issues, ever held in Australia.

NSW and Federal leaders and politicians have been invited to the Assembly to outline what they plan to do to improve rental affordability and security, and make clean household energy affordable for households.

The Everybody’s Home campaign is calling on governments to:

  1. Develop a national strategy to provide the national shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes;
  2. Prioritise home buyers over investors by resetting the tax system;
  3. Ensure a better deal for renters;
  4. Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance to provide immediate relief for renters in chronic rental stress;
  5. Support a national plan to end homelessness by 2030.

Ms Colvin said housing is the single biggest cost for households, making addressing housing affordability the most pressing issue for voters, despite a slight fall in capital city real estate prices.

“It’s clear that negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks are doing a very poor job of encouraging investment in housing where it’s needed – given we know we will need 730,000 social housing properties nationally over the next 20 years.[3]

“Housing isn’t a niche issue, it’s one that affects thousands of households in every single electorate in every single state and territory – and with an election so close it’s one no political party should ignore.”

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

The Everybody’s Home campaign has united the not for profit housing, homelessness and community sectors with the nation’s largest charities in calling for leaders to fix Australia’s housing system so that everybody has a home.

 

[1]https://grattan.edu.au/time-to-fix-australias-unaffordable-capital-gains-tax-and-negative-gearing-policies/

 

[2]https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/report-on-government-services/2018/housing-and-homelessness

 

[3]https://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/29061/Social-housing-as-infrastructure-an-investment-pathway-Executive-Summary.pdf

 

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