Media Release, 10 April, 2016
In a speech to AHURI today (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute), the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has declared that housing will be a priority for the Federal Budget.
The Treasurer told AHURI that the housing market was part of a continuum “ranging from homeowners, to renters, to social and affordable housing, and regrettably homelessness.”
According to AHURI, 25 percent of Australians are in private rentals, and 78 percent of those Australians are experiencing rental stress, a fact reflected in the findings of Anglicare Australia’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot (RAS) over the past eight years. This year’s RAS will be released at the end of the month.
In comments made at the end of the speech the Treasurer recognised that a comprehensive plan must be developed to address the housing challenges faced by renters and first-home buyers alike. Anglicare Australia would love to see how government might work with the social services sector to develop initiatives that would give everyone the opportunity to have a place to call home.
Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers said today that a stable home is the foundation for health, participation, work, security and belonging.
“I think that the Treasurer’s speech shows that there is an acknowledgment of the complexity and scale of the problem. Like others on the room today, Anglicare Australia would like to see a non-partisan and national approach involving all levels of governments, industry and community to the housing crisis”, she said.
Anglicare Australia’s work with its members on eight annual Rental Affordability Snapshots shows us how important it is for people to have security of tenure in the private rental market. It was particularly heartening to hear that same point acknowledged in the speech today.
"Tax rules which have helped shape the current market must also be considered in any discussion about housing. Everything really does need to be on the table. We look forward to finding ways that government can change the current system to ensure that the most vulnerable to rental stress are included in the conversation”, she said.
“Perhaps most importantly though, we need to acknowledge that the end result of extreme rental stress, and a lack of affordable housing is homelessness – a reality that is simply unacceptable in a prosperous economy like ours”, said Ms. Chambers.
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