Labor’s bold plan to build 250,000 new homes over the next decade for those struggling to pay the rent will be a game changer for the nation.
Under the 10-year, $6.6-billion scheme announced yesterday, investors who build new properties would get a subsidy of $8,500 a year, on the condition they keep the rent at 20 per cent below market rates.
It is estimated that 20,000 new homes and units would be built in the first term of a Shorten government.
HHS CEO Ken Marchingo AM in his role as Deputy Chair of national community housing network group, PowerHousing Australia, has been involved in lobbying Government and Opposition MPs since 2004, arguing incentives were needed to encourage Australians to invest in affordable, private housing as part of a broader reform package to increase supply.
“We have been working and lobbying tirelessly for a national approach to rental housing affordability for low-income earners and those locked out of the rental markets,” Mr Marchingo said.
“Labor’s plan is truly a game changer,” he said and would support proposed changes to negative gearing.
“Housing affordability is not just a problem for individuals. It is a problem for the economy as a whole. Poor housing infrastructure reduces labour mobility and productivity, discouraging workers from migrating towards areas of economic development and job growth.
“Yesterday’s announcement shows national leadership on housing affordability and will go a long way towards addressing the massive shortfall of social housing units.
“It’s time to get cracking. It’s time we became the nation we should be, where no one gets left behind.”
Mr Marchingo also welcomed Labor’s promise to work with community housing providers, the residential construction sector, and institutional investors to generate economic growth and new construction jobs.
“Community Housing organisations like ourselves will play a critical role in this solution, by creating a co-investment/partnership ecosystem that will sit between governments and the private marketplace, ultimately delivering a national housing model supported by three efficient and sustainable housing sector pillars – public, community and private,” he said.
Labor’s housing plan is similar to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) which was scrapped after just two years when Tony Abbott came to office in 2013.
Although the incentive scheme was limited to “mum and dad investors”, NRAS contributed 37,000 new properties to the national supply.
HHS is now the second largest NRAS Approved Participant in Victoria managing the compliance obligations for 1,138 NRAS dwellings.
While the majority of the NRAS incentives are attached to homes owned by private investors, a small proportion is allocated to some of the 1600 properties that we own and manage as a registered Housing Association.
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