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Aug 20, 2013
joelpringle

Rudd Government turns back on affordable housing program

The Labor party’s commitment to affordable housing is being called into question as the Government has failed to confirm any ongoing future for the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

Successful applicants for the ‘shovel ready’ round are being announced this week by the Minister for Housing. However neither Labor nor the Coalition has committed to a future for the program beyond the fifth and final round, applications for which closed in recent weeks.

‘The first Rudd Government showed commitment to innovation and investment in affordable housing, but something has changed. That commitment has not been forthcoming since the change of leadership.’ said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.

‘NRAS was a great innovation by the first Rudd Government, but it is becoming clear that Kevin Rudd’s second coming lacks the same zeal and commitment for housing affordability. That comes at the community’s expense.’

‘The Greens have shown that it is possible to release PBO costed policies to address housing affordability, including the extension of NRAS. The onus is now on Labor and the Coalition to show their own commitment.’

‘NRAS has been popular with the renters and it’s been over-subscribed by potential investors. By all measures, it has been a raging success and has been providing relief from rental stress for people on low incomes as the properties are rolled out.’

‘We’ve seen the end of the Social Housing Initiative, with no ongoing commitment to building new social housing. We’ve seen the end of the Building Better Regional Cities program and the Housing Affordability Fund, both programs that lowered the cost of new housing.’
‘These were important initiatives from the government’s early days, these programs are being allowed to disappear. It appears that NRAS will join them on the chopping block, at a time of sky-rocketing rents and increasing rental stress.’

‘It’s also time for the Opposition to announce a plan that will actually address the housing crisis, rather than trying to fob off responsibility to the States.’

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

For enquiries, case studies and interviews contact Joel Pringle, 0427 563 989

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

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