- A national campaign to end homelessness says HomeBuilder should
- The original program has directly contributed $30 billion to the economy
- Expanding to social housing would both create jobs and ease burden of social housing, the campaign says
Everybody’s Home – a national campaign to end homelessness – has called on the Federal Government to capitalise on the stimulatory effect of the original HomeBuilder package by extending the program to social and affordable housing.
The campaign argues it is a win-win as this extension could both create jobs while tackling homelessness.
While originally the program was set to cost the Federal Government $688 million, this figure has since increased to $2.5 billion. This has directly led to over $30 billion in housing and direct construction investment, according to The Australian.
More broadly, the scheme is believed to have contributed to as much as $103 billion in broader economic activity and 340,000 jobs.
Kate Colvin, the national spokesman for Everybody’s Home, has said while the impact of the stimulus has been great for construction, the scheme could be even more powerful if extended to social housing.
“Every economist worth their salt agrees taxpayers receive a compelling return on their dollar when it is invested in social housing. We can create jobs, ease homelessness and reduce the demand on other government services such as hospitals and homeless shelters.
“The Federal Government can get maximum impact from every dollar they spend on social housing by encouraging the states to match their contribution and partner with them in social housing growth.”
Kate Colvin, Everybody’s Home spokesman
As previously reported here on The Property Tribune, there is a widespread shortage of social housing. It currently takes 53.9 weeks to house priority social housing applicants in Tasmania and Victoria currently undergoing the largest investment in social housing in Australia’s history to tackle this shortage. However, experts warn that despite the multi-billion investment, this may not be enough.
Ms Colvin remarked that often women and children escaping domestic violence and those recovering from illness or trauma need social housing.
“Having a roof over your head is the foundation stone for re-entering the workforce or getting an education,” she added.
“As the success of HomeBuilder shows, there are enormous economic benefits to stimulating the construction sector. By expanding this stimulus to social housing we can also achieve a powerful social dividend.”
The second instalment of HomeBuilder formally ended on 31 March.