Property Council welcomes new housing bills

CEO says the move is important in addressing Australia's housing supply shortage

Property Council welcomes new housing bills


By Mina Martin

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the new government initiative to address Australia’s housing supply shortage.

New bills were introduced into Parliament establishing the Housing Australia Future Fund, National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, and Housing Australia.

This move, Property Council CEO Mike Zorbas said, is “an important first step to get government working together with industry to bridge the national housing deficit and stimulate new supply that Australia desperately needs.”

“Our best hope of tackling the housing supply shortage is using the Housing Accord to incentivise national housing targets with local accountability,” Zorbas said. “We strongly support giving the Housing Supply and Affordability Council a broad mandate and powers that would allow it to assess the performance of the housing system and state and territory and local governments’ capacity to meet demand across the housing spectrum.”

In a new report, titled “Stark Reality,” launched with Minister Julie Collins at Parliament House on Wednesday, the Property Council proposed giving the newly formed Housing Supply and Affordability Council the mandate to review and publish scorecards on the states and territories’ housing supply efforts and the effectiveness of planning regimes across the country. 

“The Housing Supply and Affordability Council has no time to waste in reviewing barriers to institutional investment in housing,” Zorbas said. “If we are serious about increasing housing choice and affordability, we need immediate changes to tax settings that would create a level playing field for build-to-rent and unlock a sorely needed new stream of housing supply, as well as more supply of retirement living communities and purpose-built student accommodation.”

The Property Council said it wants further clarity on proposed amendments to the functions of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) as the new Housing Australia, that propose removing “investment” and could act to constrain financing solutions in dispensing of the fund through only loans and grants. It said it would also like to see assurances that the research function supporting the Housing Supply and Affordability Council will also be independent, as they have been at NHFIC.

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