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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

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Feb 6, 2012
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AAH Budget Statement 2012-13: Easing Housing Stress

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.

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Feb 2, 2012
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2012 – the year for affordable housing

Thanks for supporting the Australians for Affordable Housing Campaign. We hope your New Year has gotten off to a great start.

This year we’re going to ramp up the campaign for affordable housing and with your continued help, we’re hoping to make a difference.

We have been busy planning out the next 12 months and next week we will be launching a major federal budget bid.  We know that only the involvement of the Federal Government can deliver affordable housing to all Australians and we’ll be telling the Federal Government exactly what needs to happen to make housing more affordable.

Along with our budget statement we’ll continue to campaign for:

  • A clear national plan to deliver affordable housing to all Australians
  • More low cost rental housing
  • More opportunities for low income households to get into home ownership
  • Better financial assistance for low income renters
  • Fairer  housing investment tax arrangements
  • Options to make home ownership easier for first home buyers

We’ll keep in touch about how you can help us reach these goals in the coming year, but in the mean time, help spread the word by sharing the campaign with friends, family and colleagues who are in housing stress or are concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Australia by clicking here.

You can also share your experience with rental and housing stress by completing our share your story action.

Thank you again for supporting the campaign and we look forward to your ongoing involvement in 2012.

All the best,

Sarah Toohey
Campaign Manager,
Australians for Affordable Housing

housingstressed.org.au

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Jan 27, 2012
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AAH discusses sydney housing stress on radio 2UE

AAH Campaign Manager, Sarah Toohey spoke with 2UE’s David Oldfield last week about whether there is a housing affordability crisis in Sydney.

Click here to hear the interview in full.

You can share your experiences with housing stress in our comments section below.

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Jan 23, 2012
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Australia’s housing remains more unaffordable than UK, USA

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

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Jan 19, 2012
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Canberra, Perth and Sydney renters at the mercy of a dysfunctional property market as rents rise. AGAIN.

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) said new figures showing rent rises well above inflation in Canberra, Perth and Sydney in the December 2011 quarter show that despite low or no growth in house prices, Australia has a housing crisis that is negatively impacting on low and middle income earners.

“Once again our nation’s capital tops the table with their already high rents rising 6.4% in 2011 while Perth at 5.3% and Sydney at 4.2% aren’t far behind. Once again renters are being squeezed by the housing affordability crisis”, said AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey responding to figures from Australian Property Monitors and published in today’s Australian.

“Despite what many commentators call an ‘easing’ in housing affordability, these figures show that if we leave it to the market rents will continue to rise and tenants will continue to suffer record rates of housing stress.

Housing stress figures commissioned from NATSEM by Australians for Affordable Housing show that rates of housing stress for renters are double those with a mortgage.

“When more than a quarter of private renters are already in housing stress I worry deeply about their capacity to afford rent increases the size of which we’ve seen in the last year.

For low income households, these rent increase mean having to move or struggling to put food on the table, for middle income households it makes saving for a deposit harder, putting the dream of home ownership further out of reach,” said Sarah Toohey.

“We must see action from Governments in 2012 to make housing more affordable and we will be holding Governments to account to ensure that they do.”

 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, 0427 563 989
Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

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Jan 18, 2012
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AAH news published over the holidays

 

QLD

Foreclosures rise as more borrowers fail to repay

(Brisbane Times 3-1-12)

LINK TO STORY

 

NSW

Bucking the repossession trend

(Forbes Advocate 10-1-12)

LINK TO STORY

Hunter repossessions rising

(Newcastle Herald 4-1-12)

LINK TO STORY

Foreclosures rise as more borrowers fail to repay

(SMH- Domain 3-1-12)

LINK TO STORY

10pc of households in poverty risk

(Cowra Community News 24-12-11)

LINK NOT AVAILABLE


WA

Housing shortages to worsen in WA

(Perth Now- Business 21-12-11)

LINK TO STORY

Port, city markets suffer stress

(Kalgoorlie Miner 19-12-11)

LINK NOT AVAILABLE


National

Property expert dismisses housing shortage report as “spin”

(Smart Company 22-12-11)

LINK TO STORY

Housing shortage jumps as supply fails to keep up

(The Age/ SMH 21-12-11)

LINK TO STORY

LINK TO STORY

New report finds creating affordable housing must be a priority

(My Suburban News 21-12-11)

LINK TO STORY


International

Fears mount over health of Australia’s housing market
(BBC News- Business 29-12-11)

LINK TO STORY

 

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Dec 21, 2011
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New report confirms why creating more affordable housing must be a national priority in 2012

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) today called for the Commonwealth Government and new Housing Minister Robert McClelland to make creating more affordable housing a major priority for 2012 in the light of the National Housing Supply Council’s third State of Supply report.

“For the third year in a row this report shows an unacceptable shortfall in the supply of housing in Australia. Behind every shortfall outlined in this report are people and families that will spend Christmas in unaffordable or overcrowded housing or languishing on a public housing waiting list” said AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey.

“Despite what many commentators call an ‘easing’ in housing affordability, the State of Supply report highlights that underlying demand is still strong, and indeed that high housing costs may actually be contributing to lower demand in the housing market as potential buyers are locked out”.

The report outlines a cumulative shortage of 187,000 dwellings across Australia. This is contributing to high rates of housing stress with more than 20% of Australia’s renters and more than 10% of all households in housing stress”.

“Creating the National Housing Supply Council is one of the many achievements of this Government, but if the housing supply challenge outlined in this report does not result in Government action, including funding for new affordable housing, then we will continue to see high rates of housing stress and a generation locked out of home ownership. This is simply unacceptable”.

“A new Cabinet level Minister for Housing and Homelessness provides the Government with the perfect opportunity to have a renewed commitment to delivering the long term boost to affordable housing supply that is so clearly required”.

“Australia has a structural problem in the housing market and only a comprehensive plan that includes extra affordable housing supply, taxation reform, increases to and reform of Commonwealth Rent Assistance and better and more targeted support to first home buyers will deliver the affordable housing solutions that low and middle income Australians need”.

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

Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004

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Dec 13, 2011
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Housing stress in regional WA revealed

The extent of housing stress across regional Western Australia has today been revealed by Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH).

Denmark is the hardest hit, with 20 per cent of households experiencing housing stress, Sarah Toohey, AAH Campaign Manager announced today.

“Renters are doing it even tougher than those with a mortgage. More than 40 per cent of renters in Narrogin, Toodyay and Denmark are experiencing housing stress,” Ms Toohey said.

“The problem isn’t unique to these areas, with Quairading, Nannup, Boyup Brook, Pingelly, Mount Marshall and Mukinbudin also facing significant mortgage stress. This highlights that it’s not just the high housing prices in mining communities that we need to worry about but levels of housing stress across the State.

Continue reading »

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Dec 13, 2011
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Perth’s Housing Stress: Top 5 housing stressed suburbs revealed

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) today revealed the extent of housing stress across Perth, and the top five housing stressed council areas.

New modelling commissioned by AAH shows the Perth local government areas where renters and home buyers are struggling with high housing costs – and the figures are dire.

“The high cost of housing in Perth is not new, but these figures show where the pain is being felt” said AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey.

“Households in Kwinana are suffering the most with 20% experiencing housing stress, while Mandura has the highest proportion of people in the rental market in housing stress (42%)”.

“Areas such as Kwinana, Armadale, Mandurah and Wanneroo all have rates of rental stress over 36%, as well as high rates of mortgage stress with over 17% of home buyers in those areas under financial pressure”.

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