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Feb 8, 2012
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Community and Industry come together to demand this year’s Budget deliver for those in housing stress

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) and the Property Council of Australia’s Residential Development Council have today called for a long term strategy to improve housing affordability at the launch of the Australians for Affordable Housing budget statement in Canberra.

 The AAH plan calls for over 100,000 new affordable homes, an increase in rent assistance to relieve housing stress for up to 100,000 Australians, and an immediate stimulus payment of $2.5 billion in the 2012-13 Budget to boost the capacity of the social housing sector, pave the way for future reform and help to prevent a downturn in building activity.

“Housing stress figures commissioned from NATSEM by Australians for Affordable Housing show that rates of housing stress for renters are more than double those with a mortgage. Rental housing is where any plan to address affordability problems needs to start, said Australians for Affordable Housing Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey.

“What we need to see from the new Housing Minister is a National Housing Plan to ensure all Australians can get housing they can afford, and the 2012-13 Budget is the right time for a down payment on that plan.”

The Australians for Affordable Housing Budget Statement includes:

  • An initial down payment of $2.5 billion in the 2012-13 Budget to provide for 8,300 new homes for low income households
  • An Affordable Housing Growth Fund, with an annual allocation of $2.5 billion a year  from the 2013-14 Budget to provide 100,000 affordable homes over five years
  • An immediate  boost to Commonwealth Rent Assistance of between $16 to $25 per week  to lift  100,000 private renters out of housing stress

“As housing industry commentators speculate on another interest rate cut today, we are calling for Government action to actually deliver the affordable homes people need. Renters are struggling most under the burden of housing stress, and interest rates make little difference to their housing costs.

“We understand that the Government has a commitment to a surplus in 2013, but one in ten households in housing stress are struggling to keep their daily budget in surplus. Easing that stress needs to be the Government’s number one priority.”

 Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit www.housingstressed.org.au

Spokesperson: Sarah Toohey, 0402 677 566/ Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

  • At least $50 per week for low income renters due to rent hike over the last 10 years or so is most urgently needed to ease the financial burden on their shoulders over keeping a roof over their heads instead of seeing more and more being forced into the streets as homeless individuals and families.
    The governments of all levels must act decisively on the issue by their responsible and yet considerate budgeting allocations to solving housing crisis here in Australia.
    Bienne TAM
    14th of Feb, 2012.

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