The National Homelessness Campaign has called for funding for at least 25,000 new homes in the next budget, citing social and economic benefits.
Everybody’s Home has tabled its pre-budget submission to the federal government, with the National Campaign to End Homelessness calling for new measures to support housing supply and affordability.
The submission, titled Budget Position Paper, includes a handful of recommendations that Everybody’s Home states will mitigate the impact of Australia’s housing crisis, including building at least 25,000 social housing units nationwide each year. .
The organization’s recommendations also include the development of a national housing strategy and a national homelessness strategy; increase the maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) rate by at least 50%; the introduction of greater tenant rights; and the creation of a body similar to the now abolished National Housing Supply Council.
Similarly, the brief indicates that increased investment in social housing would provide social benefits – such as productivity, mental health and a greater ability to respond to homelessness – alongside economic benefits.
For example, Everybody’s Home claimed that by building 25,000 homes a year, $12.9 billion would be generated while creating 15,700 jobs.
This economic impact is further evidenced in Everybody’s Home’s claim that failure to invest more in social housing creates economic loss.
Quoting Christian Nygaard of Swinburne University National Program for the Construction of Social and Affordable Rental Housingthe report states: “The cost of lost public sector cost offsets and private sector benefits is estimated at $676.5 million per year currently, and will increase to $1.286 billion per year (nominal, undiscounted) in 2036 if the projected housing deficit is not filled.
The submission further underscores the need for increased investment in housing from the federal government, noting SQM Research which suggests, in the 12 months to January this year, the average asking rent for a three-bedroom home has increased. rose 13.5%, while the buying price soared 20.2 percent.
It also indicates that federal funding for social and indigenous housing in 2013-14 was over $2 billion, but is currently only budgeted at $1.6 billion for 2023-24, and that ‘between 1994 and today, the percentage of social housing in relation to all housing has fallen from 6 percent to 4 percent.
National spokesperson for Everybody’s Home, Kate Colvin, said: “A safe home is the foundation of stability and security. This means you can take care of your health, take care of your family, join the labor market and contribute to society.
“Without a house, none of this is possible. As our leaders put the final touches on the budget, they need to be aware of all the benefits of social housing as well as the profound human cost of not providing people with housing.
Ms Colvin later added: “Australia’s common prosperity is best served by a housing system that gives people on low and modest incomes real choice and offers them security and stability.
“The increasingly brutal financial competition for housing is simply indecent. We can do better. »
Everybody’s Home’s submission follows the Real Estate Institute of Australia and the Housing Industry Association tabling their own pre-budget recommendations earlier this month, with both bodies calling for extensions to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
However, it also follows recent reports that raise new concerns about housing affordability in the country.
Data released by Domain late last month indicates that the median house price in an Australian capital city is now over $1 million.
Around the same time this data was released, figures released by the Productivity Commission showed that almost half of Australians receiving ARC were spending at least 30% of their income on rent.
A report by CoreLogic earlier this year also noted that in 2021 Australian home values grew by an average of 22.1%, with capital cities seeing an average growth of 21%.
In comparison, real estate prices in the regions increased by 25.9%.
[Related: Nearly half of CRA recipients in housing stress]
Sam Nichols is a journalist at The Adviser and Mortgage Business. His reporting has appeared in a range of outlets including ABC News, SBS’ The Feed and VICE.