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Is this the start of a national housing plan?

Nov 1, 2013, 09:00 AM by Anglicare Australia

Minister Andrews’ significant speech delivered at the AHURI’s National Housing Conference today, outlining his plan to boost affordable housing was, for those of us working in the field, a curate’s egg: good in parts, Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers said today.

“The new Government’s focus on housing supply as a serious national issue paves the way for action on addressing the national housing supply shortage and by extension, the critical housing concerns for people living at the lower end of the market.

“The shortage of affordable housing is endemic across Australia and presents problems for this country far beyond those social concerns that accompany stories of housing shortages.

“Freeing up lazy Federal dollars will go some way to alleviating housing pressures, though neither the social nor economic problem can be solved without the cooperation of all Australian governments, industry, the community sector and financiers.

“It was good hear the Minister acknowledge that a considerable investment of funds is needed and that he is committed to working across the sectors to leverage investment opportunities.

“State governments have responsibility for social housing and need to reassess their policies and regulations in that light.”

Commenting on the decision to ‘wind down’ the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, Anglicare Australia is much less positive.

“Homelessness is a complex and insidious issue, as all Parliamentarians would know. Government policy needs to be informed by the expertise that can be found in the community sector and which was represented on the Council” Ms Chambers said.

“It would be very disappointing indeed if this new Government is prepared to risk losing momentum on homelessness simply because the Council was a creation of the Labor Government that came before.”