Analysis by the Parliamentary Library has found that the government’s Housing Australia Future Fund plan will see the real value of payments for social and affordable housing eroded by $515 million over the next 10 years.
The government’s plan will see $10 billion invested with the Future Fund, with returns to be invested in social and affordable housing. In the Government’s proposed legislation, spending by the Fund on housing will be capped at a maximum of $500 million each year, with no indexation, which means a real term cut in housing funding every year. The impact of this lack of indexation means that in real terms the maximum funding available will have fallen to $400 million annually by 2032, or a cumulative total of $515 million lost over the next ten years.
With the Coalition opposing the legislation in the House, it’s likely that Labor will need Greens support to pass their plan through the Senate.
Greens Party Room has agreed upon a set of key negotiating aims including:
- A minimum of $5 billion invested in social and affordable housing every year (indexed to inflation) and removing the $500 million cap
- A national plan for renters including a national freeze on rent increases and an immediate doubling of Commonwealth Rent Assistance in the Budget
- $1 billion investment in Aboriginal Housing over 5 years
Lines attributable to Max Chandler-Mather MP, Greens spokesperson for housing and homelessness:
Labor’s housing bill locks in half a billion dollars in real term cuts to housing funding over the next decade, does nothing for renters, and will see the shortage of social and affordable housing get worse, that’s not a housing plan, it’s a disaster.
We would never accept real cuts in funding for schools and hospitals every year, and we shouldn’t accept that for housing.
Rather than gambling housing funding on the stock market and locking in real funding cuts, the Greens want to see a minimum $5 billion invested in social and affordable housing every year.
- If the Government can afford to spend $12 billion next year alone on tax concessions for wealthy property investors, then it can afford to invest $5 billion building social and affordable housing for those that really need it.
A $5 billion investment every year could fund hundreds of thousands of good quality public homes over the next decade, clearing the wait lists and ensuring we actually tackle the scale of the housing crisis.
The Government has claimed the Housing Australia Future Fund will finance the construction of 30,000 social and affordable homes over five years, which actually see the shortage of social and affordable housing continue to grow. Australia has a shortage of 640,000 social and affordable homes. That shortage will grow by 75,000 in 5 years.
Parliamentary Library analysis:
- A capped payment of $500 million per year over 10 years, would be equivalent to a total of $4,485 million in 2023-24 dollars.
- The difference between a capped payment of $500 million per year over 10 years, and a $500 million payment indexed to CPI (projected), in 2023-24 dollars, would be a total of $515 million less.