Review of housing agreement confirms change is needed – HIA

Existing agreement is operating as a funding contract, not a blueprint for reform, exec says

Review of housing agreement confirms change is needed – HIA


By Mina Martin

The Productivity Commission’s review on the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement has confirmed the Housing Industry Association’s view that the existing agreement “is not delivering improvements to housing supply and therefore not improving housing affordability for both owners and renters,” HIA’s chief executive industry policy said.

“The commission rightly points out that the existing agreement is operating as a ‘funding contract, not a blueprint for reform,’” HIA’s Kristin Brookfield said. “One of the key points made is that improving the capacity of low-income renters to pay for housing and removing constraints on new housing supply are key to making housing more affordable.” HIA agrees.

The 612-page report, which contains 37 recommendations across the array of issues impacting housing supply and affordability, also raised concerns about the ongoing decline in homeownership rates.

“Declining homeownership rates will see more pressure on the other segments in the housing continuum,” Brookfield said. “Those Australians seeking private rental housing or needing support from governments will only grow larger. Now is the time to find solutions to ensure the supply of housing in each segment of the housing market – from private ownership to social housing – is adequate, year on year, to deliver a genuine, sustainable improvement in housing affordability for all.”

The report confirmed that the current agreement will be extended until 2024.

“HIA looks forward to working with the Australian government as they prepare the new agreement, in parallel with progressing the new National Housing and Homelessness Plan, the establishment of Housing Australia, and the Housing Australians Future Fund,” Brookfield said. “A new agreement must look to create a targeted, measurable, and effective improvements in housing supply.”

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