More than 300 organisations have signed an open letter calling for a social housing construction boom, similar to that of the post-war era

The Everybody’s Home campaign is pushing for Australia to build 30,000 new homes in the next four years, not only to deliver families much needed secure housing but to also in a bid to create some 18,000 jobs.

The broad coalition of signatories includes prominent national bodies, such as ACOSS, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), Anglicare Australia, YWCA Australia, ACTU, Country Women’s Association, Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, National Shelter and Homelessness Australia. Several city councils from across the country have also signed on, including Lismore City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Cardinia Shire Council and Strathfield Council.

“Australia can kill two birds with one stone if it directs some of the massive stimulus spending at the coming budget to social housing,” said Kate Colvin, national spokesperson of the Everybody’s Home campaign.

“The idea behind the Everybody’s Home call for a social housing construction boom is to solve two crises emerging from the COVID recession: unemployment and homelessness.”

The open letter calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to commit significant new investment in social housing.

Spending on social housing and homelessness has been largely static for the past decade, at an annual rate of about $1.5 billion.

Australia needs to build some 433,400 new homes to cover the current shortfall.

“For every dollar spent on social housing, there is a $1.30 boost to GDP. Social housing can be a powerful stimulus for our economy, while delivering much needed infrastructure.”

“Australia has a track record of using social housing as a stimulatory measure. Post World War II social housing construction helped fuel our economic recovery and house our growing population. Following Cyclone Tracy and during the Global Financial Crisis federal government investment in social housing helped local economies rebuild.

“It wouldn’t just be building new homes, it would be creating the building blocks of our economic recovery.”

Read the letter

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