The Housing and Homelessness Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) met at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on 3 May 2023. Ministers welcomed the New South Wales Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, the Hon Rose Jackson MLC, to her first meeting.
The Ministerial Council discussed the recent tasking by National Cabinet on developing a proposal to strengthen renters’ rights. Ministers agreed senior officials would develop options, with input from their state and territory counterparts, to bring back to the Ministerial Council for consideration.
The Chair of the Housing Supply and Affordability Council (Supply Council), Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, met the Ministerial Council for the first time and provided an overview of the role of the Supply Council and its key priorities. The Ministerial Council discussed opportunities for Supply Council engagement, including in the development of the National Housing and Homelessness Plan.
Jurisdictions outlined progress of their housing and homelessness initiatives, with Victoria providing an update on the potential for co-investment opportunities with superannuation funds to deliver improved housing outcomes. The Commonwealth also provided an update on key elements of its housing reform agenda.
State and territory Housing Ministers welcomed the $67.5 million boost to homelessness funding as part of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA). Ministers noted the offer of extension of the NHHA to 30 June 2024 and noted that progressing work on funding arrangements beyond 30 June 2024 is a priority for 2023. Ministers agreed to work together to prioritise funding arrangements beyond 30 June 2024.
Ministers agreed to a data sharing protocol as the foundation for data improvements and agreed senior officials would develop a work plan by 30 June 2023, to support:
- delivery of social and affordable housing
- development of the National Housing and Homelessness Plan
- data quality improvements
Ministers considered the operation of social housing eligibility and allocation processes across jurisdictions, including the support for people exiting hospitals at risk of homelessness and people with disability. Ministers agreed senior officials from the housing and disability portfolio would work together to scope opportunities to improve housing outcomes for people with disability.
Ministers from each state and territory also agreed to write a joint letter to the Senate, to support the passage of the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill 2023 (the HAFF Bill) and ensure the Commonwealth delivers on its commitments to maximise benefits for vulnerable and homeless Australians.