The Albanese Labor Government is continuing to implement its ambitious housing reform agenda, today taking a significant step forward in the development of a new National Housing and Homelessness Plan.
The Plan will help set out a shared national vision on tackling the country’s housing challenges across the responsibilities of different levels of government, and how best to support those experiencing housing stress and homelessness.
Minister for Housing Julie Collins officially launched the Plan’s Issues Paper at the start of Homelessness Week, stating that the Plan was a crucial part of the Government’s broader housing reforms.
“Too many people are struggling to find a safe and affordable place to buy, to rent or to spend the night,” Minister Collins said.
“Through the National Housing and Homelessness Plan, we will set out how these issues can be tackled head on by governments across the country with short, medium and long term reforms.”
The Plan is being developed in close collaboration with state and territory governments and local government associations.
People are now encouraged to share their experiences to help inform the development of the Plan. Local governments, not-for-profit and civil society organisations, industry bodies, superannuation funds and other experts in housing, finance and urban development are also invited to take part.
Minister Collins said meaningful consultation with the Australian community and housing sector is key to ensuring this new Plan achieves real change in improving supply of housing, including social and affordable housing, and improves housing outcomes for Australians.
“Australia is facing significant housing challenges, and the Albanese Labor Government is committed to taking action,” she said.
“We want to deliver lasting change with states and territories, and ensure more Australians have a safe place to call home.”
A public submission process, which will run for six weeks, as well as nationwide consultations will help determine the priorities in the Plan.
The Plan will build on the Government’s existing housing initiatives, including:
- The $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which will help fund 30,000 new social and affordable rental homes in its first five years;
- A new $2 billion Social Housing Accelerator to deliver thousands of social homes across Australia;
- A National Housing Accord which includes federal funding to deliver 10,000 affordable homes over five years from 2024;
- Up to $575 million in funding unlocked from the National Housing Infrastructure Facility with homes already under construction across the country;
- Increasing the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15 per cent, the largest increase in more than 30 years;
- Additional $2 billion in financing for community housing providers for more social and affordable rental housing through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation;
- New incentives to boost the supply of rental housing by changing arrangements for investments in built-to-rent accommodation;
- $1.7 billion one-year extension of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement with States and Territories, including a $67.5 million boost to homelessness funding over the next year;
- Recommenced the Housing and Homelessness Ministerial Council with multiple meetings of Ministers to drive reforms across the country;
- States and territories committing through National Cabinet to improve renters' rights;
- States and territories committing through National Cabinet to develop planning reforms;
- Created the Interim National Housing Supply and Affordability Council to deliver independent advice to Government on ways to improve housing supply and affordability;
- Helped more than 50,000 Australians into home ownership through the Home Guarantee Scheme, including more than 6,000 through the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee. The scheme has now been expanded significantly - changes will see friends, siblings, and other family members eligible for joint applications under the First Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee. These guarantees had previously been restricted to people that were married or in a de facto relationship, in addition to single applicants; and
- Actions under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to improve housing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including a Housing Policy Partnership.
The Plan will also be informed by the advice of the interim National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, an independent panel of experts in housing, homelessness, finance, economics and urban development.
More information can be found on the DSS Engage website.