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Social housing projects needed to boost the economy

Jun 3, 2020, 13:12 PM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia has called for social housing to be included in the Federal Government’s upcoming housing package announcement expected this week.

“Renters on low incomes are at the forefront of this crisis. They should be at the forefront of the response,” says Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Anglicare Australia’s 2020 Rental Affordability Snapshot shows that a person who is out of work can afford less than 2% of rentals – and that’s with their payments doubled. Under the old rates, just 9 rentals (0%) across Australia would be affordable.

“We also have a shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable rentals across the country, and countless Australians losing their jobs.

“Without action, hundreds of thousands of people will be pushed into poverty and homelessness. Social housing is the best way to tackle that crisis.

“Social housing will offer relief for people who are on the brink of homelessness. It also boosts GDP, and creates jobs in construction for the regions that need it most,” Ms Chambers said.

Ms Chambers said that cash payments to first home buyers and renovators won’t stimulate the economy – or tackle the housing crisis.

“Giving cash payments to people who are already buying homes won’t stimulate the economy. Money for renovations is also a weaker strategy to grow jobs in construction.

“It would be a wasted opportunity if this stimulus package was aimed at people who can already afford to buy a home. Instead we should be building homes that struggling renters can afford.

“There is no time to waste. Social housing projects will bring more jobs than renovations and get off the ground more quickly than roads or rail. It also brings longer-term benefits.

“For years, the community and business sectors have called for social housing to boost the economy. Now it’s time for the Government to act before it’s too late.”