The 'shot in the arm' for Australian affordable housing | Kanebridge News
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The ‘shot in the arm’ for Australian affordable housing

An ambitious agenda to provide accessible, affordable housing needs to push ahead, national property council says

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Fri, Jul 28, 2023 10:40amGrey Clock 2 min

The Federal Government’s proposed housing fund is the ‘shot in the arm’ required to address the housing crisis, the Property Council of Australia said today.

Property Council chief executive Mike Zorba said the Albanese Government’s second attempt to pass the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) Bill through the Senate next week was to be welcomed.

The Federal Government announced the HAFF in June this year, describing it as ‘an ambitious agenda’ for affordable and social rental housing. At that time, Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins signed an amendment to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s (NHFIC) investment mandate to increase its liability cap from $5.5 billion to $7.5 billion.

However, the bill failed to pass the senate on its first attempt, sparking talk of a double dissolution trigger if it fails again next week.

Mr Zorba said Senate approval would go some way to addressing the housing shortfall in Australia. Estimates based on data from the 2021 Census revealed that more than 500,000 Australians on low income were in inappropriate housing on census night, which included homelessness, overcrowding or households where more than 30 percent of income was spent on rent.

Minister Collins said the $10 billion HAFF represented ‘the single biggest investment in social and affordable housing by a Federal Government in more than a decade’. The new initiative is expected to fund 30,000 new social and affordable rental homes.

Mr Zorba said Senate approval would kickstart the housing supply recovery.

“The HAFF is the shot in the arm the nation needs to close the housing deficit,” Mr Zorbas said.

“The 30,000 new social and affordable houses that hang in the balance need to be green-lighted by all Senators as soon as possible.

“Beyond the HAFF, the fastest paths to new housing remain setting housing targets, creating incentives for more supply and fixing broken state planning systems.

“We also need governments to boost helpful asset classes like purpose-built student accommodation, retirement living communities and build-to-rent housing,” he said. 



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The home building market is on the rebound as building approvals rise, new data reveals.

Information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the total number of dwellings approved in August was up 7 percent seasonally adjusted, with apartments leading the way.

Private sector house approvals gained 5.8 percent in August while private sector residences excluding houses were up 9.4 percent. This follows on from a decrease of 14.6 percent in July and indicates a solid recovery in the Australian construction sector as the end of the year approaches.  

Approvals for total dwellings were strongest in the two largest states, with Victoria recording a rise of 22.2 percent and NSW 12.5 percent. Western Australia also saw a significant rise of 12.3 percent.

In Queensland, the results were less positive for the sector, with total dwelling approvals falling by -26.9 percent. Tasmania also experienced a drop in approvals in August, down -10.1 percent and South Australia -6.9 percent.

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