LABOR LEADS DISCUSSION ON WAYS TO BOOST COMMUNITY HOUSING INVESTMENT

Labor is again leading the way on housing affordability, bringing together superannuation funds and community housing providers to consider ways to boost investment in affordable housing in Australia.

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Doug Cameron and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Katy Gallagher, today facilitated a roundtable between community housing providers and industry super funds to discuss options for investment in the local market.

AHURI analysis, based on the most recent Census figures show that the proportion of social housing has shrunk over the past 30 years, down from a high of 7 percent in 1991 to 4.2 percent of all housing.

While social housing has declined in Australia, Australian super funds have invested over $1 billion into social housing – but in the USA and UK.

Australian industry super funds have a good record of investing in productive, job-generating projects in Australia. These funds are a potential major source of investment for Australia’s comparatively small community housing sector.

With investment in social and affordable housing sorely needed, government needs to lead the way in encouraging such investment.

Labor advocated for a ‘bond aggregator’ investment vehicle which would assist CHP’s to access cheaper finance, while giving super funds the chance to invest at scale. The Turnbull government has adopted Labor’s policy, but has failed to follow through with policies that would address the ‘yield gap’ that still exists for investors in housing for low-income tenants.

Labor’s roundtable in Melbourne will discuss ways in which barriers to investment such as the yield gap can be overcome.

We thank both the representatives from the community housing providers and the superannuation sector who attended the roundtable and engaged constructively in discussion around opportunities to invest in this space.

WEDNESDAY 23 AUGUST, 2017

This is a joint media release with Senator the Hon Doug Cameron Labor's Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness.