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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.’

National Cabinet’s new housing plan could fix our rental crisis and save renters billions

Brendan Coates and Joey Maloney write in The Conversation (17.8.23) about plans announced at a meeting of National Cabinet which could alleviate housing and renting pressures for many Australians.

‘Wednesday’s National Cabinet meeting set itself a huge task: to fix Australia’s rental crisis. Thankfully, given rents are rising at their fastest rate in decades, the plan it produced just might do the trick.

‘Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says it’s the most significant housing reform in a generation. If the states and territories deliver on their commitments, this might become one of the rare occasions when such lofty rhetoric is justified.

‘The plan has two key objectives: to remove constraints to building more homes in established suburbs; and to give renters more rights. As Grattan Institute has long argued, each is crucial.

‘… For its part, the Commonwealth will have to do all it can to ensure Australia gets the skilled workers that will be needed to build these extra houses, including by streamlining pathways to skilled migration.

‘Ultimately, the only thing that will really help is more about supply. Because when housing is plentiful, it’s more affordable.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
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