The St Vincent de Paul Society is “relieved” to see the Albanese Government’s long-delayed $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund Bill pass Parliament, with the addition of an extra $1 billion to be spent on public housing this year.
The society’s national president, Mark Gaetani, said the passage was a “perfectly reasonable outcome” that “should have been achieved sooner”.
“The beneficiaries would not only be a significant number of people on the social housing waitlist, including some who are homeless, but the builders who would have been able to better schedule their work and required materials,” Mr Gaetani said.
He said the society fully supports the objectives of the HAFF, which are to address the particular acute housing needs of certain groups and increase the funding of social and affordable housing.
“Australia is experiencing a tight rental market and low levels of social housing. In conjunction with a cost-of-living crisis, this means many in our community are suffering. There are over 122,000 Australians homeless on any given night,” Mr Gaetani said.
“But more progress should have been made to date, as many Australians are desperately waiting for secure and affordable housing, which helps reduces poverty and improves health, education, employment, social participation, and social mobility.”
The society’s National Council has previously welcomed the significant commitments of National Cabinet and the Commonwealth to addressing the housing and rental crisis.
“We also urge a 25 per cent increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance, paid to eligible people who rent in the private market or community housing.
“Our report, A Fairer Tax and Welfare System for Australia, shows how this could be funded through easily implemented reforms.”
$1 BN housing boost overdue but welcome (St Vincent de Paul Society)