A national housing industry report released today highlights the need for national leadership and long term planning when it comes to meeting Australia’s housing supply needs into the future – something the Turnbull government has failed to deliver.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) 2016 edition of Housing Australia’s Future report shows that on conservative estimates Australia will need 188,000 new homes each year to keep up with demand up to 2050.
HIA Economist Geordan Murray says:
“Worryingly, we have only reached the annual level of output required under the mid-range growth scenario on three occasions over the past thirty years. In the absence of substantial policy reform, the risk is that a serious housing deficiency will remain the norm in most capital cities across the country.” Housing Australia’s Future, media release, Tuesday 23 February 2016.
The report also says that ensuring housing supply meets demand and matches the needs of the community is an important way of ensuring there are improvements to housing affordability.
Over the past two and a half years the Abbott-Turnbull government has refused to show any interest in addressing Australia’s housing affordability crisis.
In contrast, Labor has announced a plan to level the playing field between first home buyers and investors, boost housing supply, while creating tens of thousands of new construction jobs.
This government has focused on cutting measures put in place specifically to help address housing affordability like abolishing the Housing Supply Council, cutting funding from the National Rental Affordability Scheme and cutting $132 million from homelessness funding.
The HIA report shows that delivering adequate and appropriate housing stock over the next 30 years will require national leadership and coordination between all levels of government over the long term if we are to achieve the outcomes that Australians expect and deserve.
This is not a responsibility that the Turnbull government can ignore any longer.
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.