A Labor election promise aimed at addressing Australia’s housing crisis has suffered a major setback after the Albanese Government failed to secure crossbench support for the legislation. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
The Government wanted the policy passed this week, but lack of backing in the Senate means it will now have to try again after the May budget.
Housing Minister Julie Collins’ $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund risks sinking unless she meets demands from the Greens, which include an additional $5 billion a year for social and affordable housing and a national agreement to cap rent increases for two years.
After cutting a deal this week to support Labor’s signature climate policy, the Greens said yesterday they would not debate the suite of housing bills in the Senate unless the Government agreed to significant changes. The government needs the support of the Greens and two other crossbenchers in the Senate after the Coalition said it would reject the bills.
Greens housing spokesman Max Chandler-Mather said negotiations with the Labor Government were not over, but Ms Collins needed to make some concessions if she wanted the bills to pass.
Ms Collins said she was concerned the Greens appeared to be stopping debate on bills that would help vulnerable people.
“I want to negotiate in good faith,” she said, adding she was open to discussions about getting the bills back before the Senate later this week.
“There are vulnerable people relying on this bill passing, so we can get returns and homes on the ground as quickly as possible.”
The housing fund is meant to provide $500 million a year in returns to get 30,000 social and affordable homes built over the next five years and will also provide $200 million to repair housing in remote Indigenous communities, $100 million for crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence and $30 million for housing for veterans.
Greens deliver blow to Labor’s core housing promise (Rachel Clun, Sydney Morning Herald)