SYDNEY, AAP – Almost 15,000 new homes a year could be provided for those who need housing and are struggling to access it under a new plan proposed by a recently formed alliance for housing affordability.
The proposal includes the implementation of capital aggregation and tax offsets to incentivise institutional investment in social and affordable housing, establishing a $20 billion “future fund” to invest in housing, affordable “build-to-rent” housing, and strengthening planning and development legislation to direct more money to social and affordable housing construction.
The National Affordable Housing Alliance (NAHA) also wants a database developed to track social and affordable housing nationally and regionally so investment can be determined by need.
NAHA chair Rod Fehring says having that data is “critical in ensuring both transparency and accountability in the delivery of the right types of housing on the right terms in the right locations”.
A policy paper released by the alliance on Thursday says a “self-sustaining framework that adds consistently to the net additional supply of social and affordable housing … is required to avoid a widespread social and economic crisis”.
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“Relying solely on direct government funding is not sustainable on current policy settings. Neither is failing to address the growing problem,” the paper says.
NAHA aims to use “non-government capital sources” to fund supply for new housing but says “there are no silver bullets when it comes to resolving the ongoing shortage of affordable and social housing in Australia”.
The alliance projects its proposed policies, if implemented, could add “between 11,150 to 14,950 homes” yearly, on top of existing construction from state and territory governments.
At least a quarter of those would have rent capped below 30 per cent of the household income.
The alliance includes the ACTU, Australian Council of Social Service, Industry Super, Master Builders, the Property Council and Homelessness Australia among other core members.
The proposed policies suggest how to implement changes called for in a review of the Commonwealth government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation that estimated 819,000 new social and affordable dwellings would be required over the next two decades.