IN response to Budget2021, the federal opposition committed to building 20,000 social housing properties in the first five years of setting up a $10 billion housing fund.
The opposition said 20 per cent of the social housing properties will be allocated for women and children experiencing domestic violence and older women on low incomes. 10,000 affordable housing properties specifically for essential workers such as nurses, police and cleaners will also be built.
Currently, older women are the fastest-growing group of homeless people in Australia, with more than 400,000 older women at risk of homelessness. As of 2019 there were almost 150,000 households on social housing waiting lists across Australia with some people waiting decades to receive secure, affordable housing.
The Australian Government made no mention of investment in social housing during the Budget announcements on 12 May.
An article in last week’s edition of THE VOICE covered the government’s plans to address housing affordability. To sum up, there are two new schemes to make it easier for people to borrow more money to buy houses. However, house prices are high because there aren’t enough houses, offering up more money to go after the same number of houses will no doubt lead to further house price increases.
Housing is essential, it is a basic human right.
The Australian Government must view affordable, secure housing as a social good for all and not just for those who can afford to pay market rent or buy their own home.