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Labor’s proposed $10 billion social housing fund isn’t big as it seems, but it could work

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (12.1.22) about federal Labor’s plan for a dedicated social housing ‘future fund’, which the author suggests makes financial sense despite some shortcomings.

‘The centrepiece of Labor’s election program so far is its A$10 billion social housing policy, officially called the Housing Australia Future Fund.

‘… Although needed, it’s far short of the 100,000 extra social housing units we would have had if social housing had been growing in line with total housing in recent years, a gap that is climbing by 4,000 homes a year.

‘And, like the frilled-neck lizard, the $10 billion looks much bigger than it is. Labor could probably do what it has promised to do for $450 million per year.

‘Instead, it says it would borrow $10 billion at low interest rates, invest the money for much higher returns, and use the proceeds to pay for the program.’

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