Federal election 2019: affordable housing

Article published 23 April 2019

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THE federal election is coming up, so what are the major federal political parties promising to make housing affordable?

On 16 December 2018, the federal Labor party announced the Affordable housing for renters initiative. This initiative will build off the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NARS) which currently allows singles earning $51,398 or couples earning a combined $71,061 to build and rent a house for 20 per cent below the market value.

Labor has promised an additional 250,000 houses to be built. Investors who build new homes will be awarded 15 year subsidies of $8,500, and eligible tenants will pay 20 per cent below market rent.

The initiative is aimed at addressing the instability of renting for low income earners and will not include overseas students, temporary foreign workers, and other non-residents, as the target is to assist affordable housing for Australians.

The Greens also have a plan to ensure all Australians have an affordable home. They plan to strengthen tenants’ position of power while renting. The party will do this by creating a minimum standard for rental homes that includes indefinite leases and prohibits ‘no-grounds’ evictions.

The Greens’ plan also includes regulating the frequency of rent rises and increasing funding for crisis-housing services so that the 300,000 people that flee domestic violence every year may have a roof over their head.

The Coalition’s affordable housing policies had not been announced when the issue of THE VOICE went to press.

Overall, it is quite amazing that none of the political parties, across the board, see the growing problem of homelessness and the tens-of-thousands of people on public housing waiting list as something needing their attention.


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