Intergenerational Report highlights chronic need for affordable housing

by Julia Corderoy06 Mar 2015
The Commonwealth Government’s Intergenerational Report has highlighted Australia’s chronic need for more affordable housing.

The Report projects that over the next 40 years the Australian economy will grow at 2.8% per annum, slightly less than the 3.1% per annum we saw over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, population growth is projected to be 1.3% per annum, which is also slightly less than the 1.4% growth we have seen per annum over the the past 40 years, but still enough to see our population reach almost 40 billion by 2055.  

The chief executive of construction industry association, Master Builders Australia says this means Australia will need to more than double its current housing stock over the next 40 years.

“Australia will need more than 9 million new homes to meet the needs of the population projected in the Intergenerational report,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

To do this, Harnisch says the government will need to seriously commit to tackling supply side challenges to stimulate housing construction and keep housing affordable. 

“The key challenge will be to tackle intergenerational housing affordability in order to preserve home ownership as a fundamental pillar of Australian economic and family life over the next 40 years,” he said.

“This will demand a serious commitment to reforms to counter supply side impediments that drive up house prices. Master Builders supports the importance the intergenerational Report gives to reducing red and green tape and regulatory duplication at state and local government.”

Graham Wolfe, chief executive of industry policy and media at the Housing Industry Association agrees, saying “[t]o achieve a significant increase in the delivery of housing that is affordable and meets the nation’s future demographic needs, governments must focus on investment in economic and social infrastructure, increasing the supply of residential land, and removing impediments in the planning system.”