Call for stimulus package for shovel-ready projects

The survey found not-for-profit housing providers could start building 12,500 homes within five years (Bigstock)

Construction work could start almost immediately on thousands of new affordable homes if the Morrison Government funds a stimulus package for the COVID-19 recovery, according to data from the Community Housing Industry Association. Source: The Age.

Homelessness organisations want the Morrison Government to put $7.7 billion towards the shovel-ready projects in the October 8 budget, to create construction jobs, stimulate the economy and minimise a “homelessness pandemic” in the recession.

The association surveyed not-for-profit housing providers and found they could start building 12,500 homes within five years.

Work on 6000 of the homes could begin within six months if the government funds the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP) – which is also being pushed by Homelessness Australia, National Shelter and Everybody’s Home – according to CHIA.

Most of the homes would be in greater Sydney, followed by greater Melbourne, then regional NSW and Victoria. The plans also include homes in South Australia, Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

SHARP would be similar to the former federal Labor government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan for social housing during the global financial crisis.

Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar has previously said that, while social housing was a state government responsibility, the federal Government had made significant investments.

Over two years, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation has issued $1.5 billion worth of bonds, supporting the construction of 2000 new homes and the maintenance of 6300 existing homes. A separate infrastructure funding program had provided $160 million that would support 2800 new dwellings.

FULL STORY

Thousands of affordable homes would boost economy, homelessness groups say (By Rachel Eddie, The Age

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