Monday 30 May, 2016
A national alliance of community housing and welfare groups says it’s time get serious about reforming negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount and put housing affordability front and centre of this federal election campaign.
The alliance –made up of Homelessness Australia (HA), National Shelter, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) – asks all Australians to sign a petition calling for tax reforms that put ordinary people ahead of the interests of investors.
“Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis and current tax policy has fuelled Australian housing prices to record and unaffordable levels,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“Tax settings that encourage speculative investment and inflate house prices – like negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount – must be addressed in a new national strategy to address housing affordability.”
These unfair tax concessions cost the federal budget more than $7 billion every year.
Over half of these tax breaks go to investors in the top 10% of income earners. People who negatively gear claim an average loss of $8,722 per year.
This means funding for essential services such as education, health and dedicated housing for low income families are reduced.
Spending savings should be redirected to improve affordability, including a tax rebate for new affordable housing, and significantly increased investment in public and community housing.
“ACOSS stands with the community in insisting that governments do all that they can to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax to enable us to fund our services properly into the future and to help end the housing crisis that is pushing people into financial hardship,” said Dr Goldie.
By signing the Vote Home petition, Australians can call on party leaders to change unfair tax concessions and unlock affordable housing for all.
To Vote Home, go to: http://change.org/negativegearing
Australians for Affordable Housing have today launched their goals and recommendations for reform.
Read the full report here.
Speaking at an affordable housing forum, ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie called on Federal, State and local Governments to step up to the challenge of improving housing affordability in Australia, warning that we risk sentencing young people and those on low incomes to a life of insecure renting, or worse, if we fail to act now.
Read more here.
In an unprecedented move, CEOs of more than 50 homelessness agencies and social welfare bodies have united to warn the Federal Government that thousands of vulnerable people could be thrown into homelessness if national homelessness funding is allowed to expire.
A jointly signed open letter to Federal Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison from the CEOs of more than 50 services including Homelessness Australia, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, Mission Australia and ACOSS appeals to the Federal Government to end the uncertainty surrounding the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which expires on 30 June 2015.
Read more on Homelessness Australia’s website here.
The annual Report on Government Services has been released, providing information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia.
The Housing chapter (chapter 17) focused on the performance of governments in providing social housing, including public housing, State owned and managed indigenous housing, community housing and indigenous community housing.
All sections of the Report, including the Housing chapter, can be found via the Productivity Commission’s website here.
NSW Federation of Housing Associations have recently released a briefing paper to provide a summary of issues arising from the current Australian Government review of the Australian Federation. The briefing focuses on the Commonwealth Government’s Issue Paper on roles and responsibilities in housing and homelessness, released on 11 December 2014, as one of a number of issues papers developed to inform the Commonwealth Government’s White Paper on the Reform of the Federation.
The full briefing paper can be downloaded via the NSW Federation’s website here.
The number of people receiving support from homelessness services rose in 2013-14 – with 254,001 people assisted over the year. However, the number of people whom services could not assist also continued to rise. Last year, on average, 423 people were unable to be assisted each day. Domestic and family violence continues to be the single largest reason people sought assistance. AIHW estimates that a third of all clients either sought or needed assistance for this reason. These numbers increased by 9 per cent, including an increase of 14 per cent in the number of children.
Read more on Homelessness Australia’s website here.
The first report from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institution, investigating the supply of, and demand for private rental dwellings affordable to lower income households in 2011, compared to 2006, has been released.
Key findings from the report include:
- The private rental sector grew more strongly between 2006 and 2011 than in the two previous intercensal periods.
- There was a loss of lower rent dwellings and an increase in higher rent properties 2006–11, to a greater degree than in previous intercensal periods.
- Weekly rents were strongly clustered between $300 and $500 a week in 2011; higher in real terms than in 2006, and these rents were unaffordable to many households on lower incomes using the 30 per cent of income affordability benchmark.
- The most striking change in private renter household incomes between 2006 and 2011 was the increase in households with higher incomes, which exceeded that of the prior intercensal periods.
- Very-low-income (Q1) households faced a shortage of 187 000 affordable dwellings nationally in 2011, up from 138 000 in 2006. However, when occupation of affordable dwellings by higher income (Q2–Q5) households was taken into account, there was a shortage of 271 000 affordable and available rental dwellings for Q1 households (up from 211 000 in 2006).
- Low-income (Q2) households, in contrast, had an apparent surplus of affordable dwellings of 521 000 nationally in 2011 (a slight decrease compared with 2006). However, when occupation by higher (Q3–Q5) and some lower (Q1) income households was taken into account, there was a shortage of 122 000 affordable and available dwellings nationwide in 2011 (up from 87 000 in 2006).
More information on the CHFA website here.
Are you a tenant? Or do you work in housing/tenancy management, policy or advocacy? Griffith University wants to hear from you!
Griffith University is doing research into how ‘at home’ or not renters feel and why that may be.
They’re looking for your stories and experiences to inform the research.
Click here to share your experience anonymously:
In this article, National Shelter Executive Officer Adrian Pisarski looks at the White Paper on the federation and asks whether it’s time to chage the direction of funding and responsibilities for housing between the Commonwealth and the states.
- Alliance of community groups launches petition to reform negative gearing
- Affordable Housing Reform Agenda launched
- Time to look at real solutions to Australia’s housing affordability crisis – ACOSS
- CEOs appeal to Minister to end funding uncertainty – Homelessness Australia
- Report on Government Services 2015 Released