Opposition leader commits $10 billion to social housing. Image – Canva & Anthony Albanese
  • Labor leader Anthony Albanese announced $10 billion towards social housing during last week's budget reply speech
  • REIA welcomes the announcement for much needed relief in the rental market
  • 20,000 social housing properties are promised as a part of the "future fund"

The Opposition Leader’s commitment to a $10 billion investment into social and affordable housing for the most vulnerable has been welcomed by The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).

Labor leader Anthony Albanese made the investment announcement in his budget reply speech last Thursday, promising to deliver 20,000 social housing properties as part of his proposed Housing Australia Future Fund.

“The security of a roof over one’s head should be available to all Australians.”

Anthony Albanese, Labor Party Leader

“The home I grew up in gave me and my mum so much more than somewhere to sleep. It gave us pride, dignity and security, and it gave me a future.”

“This will make money, create jobs, build homes and change lives,” added Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness Jason Clare.

Experts and research have been indicating the need for improvement of Australia’s social housing system for some time. These sentiments have been echoed by advocates for ending homelessness.

REIA President Adrian Kelly agrees that this is an area of the housing market that needs to be fixed.  He says COVID-19 highlighted this need as the rental eviction moratoriums were used to support tenants.

“Done well, social and affordable housing also provides an important stepping-stone to participating in private markets and home ownership, especially if housing is strategically built close to work, education and public transport.

Adrian Kelly, REIA Presdent

“If a Future Fund style model sustainably finances the gap for community housing providers without top up from the public purse, then that is a sensible thing and puts the sector in good stead as well as builds on the existing success of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).”

Mr Kelly suggested Australia needs a comprehensive strategy is required to tackle the rental market’s supply and affordability issues. The total package of houses to be built through the Future Fund would amount to the equivalent of one per cent of extra rental stock.

“The private rental market is around 27 per cent of the housing spectrum, the absolute majority of which is currently supplied and paid for by mum and dad investors. We need a comprehensive plan that addresses all players in property.

“Negative gearing will remain an absolutely critical part of this, and if the Opposition is serious about dealing with affordability issues, they need to give mum and dad investors the confidence to continue to invest with certainty.

“In particular housing support for families fleeing domestic violence situations is both most welcomed and much needed,”

“The reality is that rents are largely unchanged due to the pandemic with the March 2021 quarter CPI figures showing that the rental market continued its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in most capital cities.

“The capital city weighted average showed that rentals remained unchanged in the March quarter, following an increase of 0.1 per cent in the December 2021 quarter,” Mr Kelly said.

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