A couple of weeks ago Labor tried to shut down debate and force a vote on their housing bill in the middle of negotiations, rather than work with the Greens to pass a plan that helps renters and invests billions in public and genuinely affordable housing.
As you might have heard, despite being in a historic housing crisis, the recent Budget offered very little in the way of solutions. While we saw a miniscule increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance (an average $1.12 day, equivalent to a tenth of the size of the average rent increase experienced by renters over the past year), the budget included nothing at all for 5.5 million renters and no new money for public and genuinely affordable housing.
We’d hoped maybe the budget would fill the gaps left by the housing bill, but now we know there’s nothing but crumbs in there. That means this housing bill is our last chance to force Labor to act. You can see what I said in Parliament about the budget and its inadequacy for housing here.
The housing bill Labor recently put up in the senate will see $10 billion of public money gambled on the stock market and doesn’t guarantee a cent in funding for housing. Even in the best case scenario, it will see more people waiting for public housing, more people struggling to pay the rent, more people homeless and more people being evicted.
As we’ve said for months, we want to negotiate with the government to pass a plan that will actually start to tackle the scale of the crisis. But as evidenced in recent weeks, where the government has tried to gag debate and force a vote in the middle of negotiations, it seemsmore interested in letting their bill fail, than they are in investing in more public and affordable housing and helping renters.
As we come out of the next round of parliamentary sitting weeks, I’ll be hosting another online town hall meeting to share where the bill is at and what comes next in the fight for real housing justice.
RSVPs are essential, Zoom link will be included in your confirmation email.