A Labor government will seek to increase the supply of housing to take pressure off rising rents.
The Community Housing Industry Association says people are being priced out of the market with rent prices outstripping wages.
Even after receiving rent assistance almost half of renters were still in housing stress.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the party’s Housing Australia Future Fund is aimed at addressing some of those issues.
“Part of the problem we have seen is that you have seen a reduction in commonwealth engagement and involvement in building new social housing,” he told reporters in the NSW Hunter region on Thursday.
“When we were last in office we built something in the order of 20,000 additional social housing units but we renovated or refurbished some 80,000.
“We changed also the social experience of people in that public housing.”
Asked about the private market, Mr Albanese said increasing supply would relieve pressure.
“I had a meeting with some people from the Property Council last week … we will continue to engage,” he said.
“We will have more to say on housing, including the private market, during the campaign.”
The CHIA wants all parties to commit to a national housing strategy involving all levels of government and the private and not-for-profit sectors.
The strategy should include investing in the construction of 25,000 new social and affordable rental homes a year, a national build-to-rent-to-buy program and a national climate resilience fund to support retrofitting or renewal of poorly designed housing.