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Labor has not announced a single extra cent of housing funding today - Greens say plan is ‘fake’ and a ‘disaster’

Today Labor has repackaged a Morrison housing and homelessness agreement, while announcing the $1 billion the Greens secured for social housing in HAFF negotiations and pretended both are new. 


Under the current National Housing and Homeless Agreement (agreed by Morrison in 2018) the Federal Government already provides $1.7bn/year to the states & territories for housing & homelessness. This amount is indexed every year, so $9.3 billion over five years is $1.86 billion a year. In other words $1.7 billion indexed to inflation. This agreement was due to be renegotiated this year.


A costing by the Parliamentary Budget Office done two weeks ago for the Greens found that the cost of actually doubling the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement was $18.92 billion over the first five years. So in announcing $9.3 billion for the states and territories for social housing and homelessness services over the next five years,  Federal Labor has actually just announced another five years of the Morrison era agreement, with a potential $100 million cut. 


The increase to the homelessness service funding appears to be achieved by reducing social housing funding in the agreement in order to increase homelessness service funding. 


With regards to the additional $1 billion to be spent on crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing family violence and for youth through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, this appears to be the money secured by the Greens in negotiations last year on the Housing Australia Future Fund. During those negotiations it was agreed that Labor would put $1 billion into the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to be spent on social housing.


Meanwhile there appears to be nothing in this renewed Morrison Housing and Homeless Agreement for renters. 


Lines attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens spokesperson on Housing and Homelessness:


"Today Labor has repackaged a Morrison housing agreement and pretended it is new money, and that is frankly disgraceful. 


"There is not a single extra cent of funding going to the states for social housing and homelessness than would have under a reelected Morrison Government. No wonder it is getting harder to tell Labor and the Liberals apart. 


"It’s remarkable in a housing crisis that Labor has actually cut ongoing funding for social housing and reheated a Morrison housing agreement, and are lying to the country pretending anything they’re announcing today is new.


"The housing crisis is breaking people and rather than actually taking real action to tackle the crisis, Labor is attempting to make political announcements that make it look like they are taking new action when they aren’t. 


"Today the Government could have announced a plan to double the housing and homelessness agreement funding to $18b, frozen rents and announced the construction of 360,000 public homes that people can actually afford. Instead they’ve repackaged old money with nothing for social housing and nothing for renters. You don’t have a housing agreement without a plan for renters. 


"What Labor has actually announced today is no extra money for social housing, nothing for renters and no plan to cap rents. This is a fake announcement and a disaster for renters.


"Today’s announcement is worse than tinkering around the edges, it is locking in the status quo, and will do nothing to tackle a housing crisis that is destroying millions of lives. 


"The only reason there is $1 billion for crisis accommodation and youth homelessness is because the Greens secured it last year." 

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