REIA calls on government to incentivise sustainable housing. Image – Canva
  • REIA urges the government to use "tools, not rules" to improve sustainable housing
  • REIA President suggests a HomeBuilder style program to support sustainability
  • A REIA Sustainable Real Estate policy has been created

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has called on the government to offer “tools, not rules” in order to progress towards more sustainable and healthy housing practices.

While shifting to sustainable and healthy practices has become central to the current public conversation, REIA President Adrian Kelly believes reform should be market-led rather than regulation-led.

According to Mr Kelly, up to 73% of global consumers either plan on – or are currently turning to – more environmentally friendly options.

Mr Kelly explains that while many are willing, owners and investors need support to improve the sustainability of dwellings. This is likely to have a trickle-down effect on the rental market.

“Decarbonisation, green credentials, energy costs and even… building health needs to be at the forefront of policy setting.”

Adrian Kelly, REIA President

Governments have a responsibility to create incentives to change behaviour in order to improve overall housing stock sustainability, according to Mr Kelly.

“Climate and sustainability have become unnecessarily political,” Mr Kelly said, “…buyers and renters just need the tools to navigate ‘what this means for me’ when it comes to selecting their home.”

Given the success of the HomeBuilder grants, Mr Kelly suggests a similar program could be used to drive sustainability and help future proof homes against bushfires and floods.

REIA has developed a Sustainable Real Estate Policy to aid in improving the sustainability and health of Australia’s dwellings.

Under the policy, REIA supports the development of research into how severe weather warnings will impact Australian housing.

Along with this REIA supports a feasibility study into a HomeBuilder-style scheme to protect homes against future severe weather events.

The policy also encourages the introduction of voluntary tools and incentives to help stakeholders in the real estate industry make sustainable choices.

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