Australia’s housing and rental crisis is likely to worsen in coming years and the Government has missed the opportunity to use the Federal budget to provide relief, say housing campaigners.
‘All signs indicate that people’s ability to afford a home will deteriorate further in coming years, so it is a disappointment that the Government has failed to include budget measures to ameliorate the crisis.’ said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing. Continue reading »
Australia’s state and federal governments need to go back to the drawing board on the National Affordable Housing Agreement with today’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council report showing it is getting harder for many more households to put a roof over their heads. Continue reading »
Data just released from the 2011 Census confirm what we already know: that rents and mortgages in Australia have grown faster than incomes, squeezing household budgets. Continue reading »
Click here to view the full budget statement:
Easing Housing Stress: AAH Budget Statement 2012-13
Housing stress affects more than one in ten Australian households. However households in the private rental market experience the greatest hardship with one in four households in housing stress.
This is a national crisis that needs to be immediately addressed as a priority in the 2012- 13 Budget and form the basis of a National Housing Strategy.
Excessive levels of rental housing stress are driven by inadequate supply of affordable rental housing, as well as by inadequate incomes. Consequently, both supply side and demand side solutions are required to provide immediate relief to those in housing stress and a sustainable framework for the supply of affordable housing into the future.
Increasing the supply of affordable housing will require an overhaul of the way housing programs are funded, however these reforms outlined below, will take time. In order to immediately boost the supply of affordable housing, and prevent a downturn in the building industry, where private investment in dwellings is expected to halve in the 2012-13 financial year, Australians for Affordable Housing is calling on the Government to fund an immediate a $2.5 billion stimulus payment in the 2012-13 budget to deliver 8,300 social housing properties. This would boost the capacity of the social housing sector, pave the way for future reform and help to prevent a downturn in building activity.
Please share your thoughts on our federal budget submission in the comment section below.
As economists tell the Australian Government to ready for another round of economic stimulus, Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) has called on State and Federal Governments to make creating more affordable housing a national priority, following the release of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability survey of 325 housing markets.
The survey classified Australia as having no affordable markets in 2011, with the majority of those markets classified as ‘severely unaffordable’.
AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey said housing was the biggest cost of living issue in Australia and this report was further evidence of the need for proactive Government action on this issue.
“Australia has the worst housing affordability of any national market outside of Hong Kong which is a terrible indictment and shows just how serious this problem is.
“The survey classified Melbourne and Sydney as ‘severely unaffordable’, with the cities median price 8.4 times and 9.2 times the median income respectively.
“Although Australia’s national unaffordability ratio reduced from 6.1 times in 2011 to 5.6 times this year reflecting a slight fall in house prices, we must not ignore the fact that this still leaves Australia’s housing as ‘severely unaffordable’.
“This makes it the right time for Governments to prioritise spending on affordable housing, and prepare a stimulus plan focussed on social housing, in anticipation of further economic problems in Europe.
“Social housing spending was the unheralded success story of the last stimulus package. It didn’t just keep builders employed but delivered massive social benefits to some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
“By contrast the boost to the first home owners grant simply supported house prices at record levels delivering a boost to those vendors who sold rather than providing benefits to renters seeking to get into the market,” Ms Toohey said.
Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia.
Spokesperson: Sarah Toohey, 0402 677 566
Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004
Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed
The Baillieu Government’s plan to house 1 million more people on the outer fringe gives cause for concern, as relying on expansion of cities as a sole strategy to achieve affordable housing is a recipe for disaster.
Pushing cities further out means putting people ever further from the major job centres, and creates a massive infrastructure deficit, particularly for public transport, that simply won’t be funded by developers. Continue reading »