After two and a half years of doing absolutely nothing to address housing affordability, today’s federal budget must include initiatives to help first home buyers and those on modest incomes who are currently locked out of the housing market to realise the great Australian dream of home ownership. 

The Turnbull Government has a shameful record when it comes to addressing housing affordability. 

Over the past two and a half years the Abbott-Turnbull Governments have done nothing other than cut funding to homelessness services, reduce funding to peak organisations and waste valuable time by outsourcing housing policy to the now failed federation reform white paper process.

In fact, the only announcement on housing that the Prime Minister has made to-date was last week when he promised that a re-elected Turnbull Government would do absolutely nothing to help first home buyers and those on modest incomes buy their first home.  

What the Prime Minister might not understand is that first home buyers as a percentage of house buyers is declining and that purchasing a home, if you're on a modest income, is becoming an almost impossible ask. 

According to ABS data almost 1 million households are now living in rental or mortgage stress and more than 185,000 households are on public and community housing waiting lists. Many of these households don't believe they will ever be able to purchase their own home. 

These are the households that Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison should be focusing on supporting in their budget instead of trying to run an incoherent scare campaign which pits property speculators against those trying to buy their first home. 

 In contrast to the Turnbull Governments inaction Labor has released its plan for housing affordability which puts people first and helps level the playing field between investors and first home buyers. 

The 2016-17 Budget is Malcolm Turnbull's opportunity to stand up to the big end of town and put national interest ahead of vested interest when it comes to taking action to address housing affordability. 

TUESDAY, 3 MAY 2016 

Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.

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