Think tanks, universities and the social services sector have warned that Australia’s lowest income earners face a shortage of affordable housing for decades unless governments work together on major investment in social housing. Source: The Age.
Two separate reports from the Grattan Institute and the Australian Council of Social Service and University of NSW released today said up to $20 billion needed to be sunk into low-cost housing to make up for a two-decade shortfall that is now being exacerbated by a huge increase in property prices.
The independent Grattan Institute said there were about 430,000 social housing properties – where the rent is capped at 25 per cent of an occupant’s income – with no change in the number over the past 20 years. Over that same period, Australia’s population has grown by a third.
It believes a $20 billion social housing fund, overseen by the Future Fund, could provide a revenue stream from its investment earnings that would provide the revenue to build an extra 3000 social housing units a year in perpetuity.
Separate research by the ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership found the Victorian, Queensland, Tasmanian and West Australian governments have promised 23,000 social and community housing units over the next few years.
But there are 155,000 households registered on social housing waiting lists across the country and even the state government promises were only for the short term, with no ongoing commitment to lift investment in the sector.
Soaring prices drive call for huge investment in social housing (By Shane Wright, The Age)