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Increase access to rental housing

Increase access to rental housing

The high cost of housing has transferred to high rental prices in the private market with vacancy rates remaining very low across Australia, despite the gap in migration.

A change in internal migration has also seen population growth moderate in the major cities and strengthen in regional areas with a corresponding shift in demand for housing, resulting in acute rental shortages in almost every regional market.

As Australia’s borders reopen, pressure on rental affordability will increase. It is critical that over the next 3-5 years governments focus on maintaining and growing the supply of rental housing.

The private rental market in Australia is underpinned by stable tax settings – this must remain the case. 
Alongside the existing arrangements that support private rental housing, the ‘build to rent’ market is expanding. Providing opportunities for people seeking long term secure rental housing in the private market can supplement the traditional rental market. However it is important that growth in this sector is complementary and not at the expense of existing and future mum and dad owners of private rental housing.

Increasing housing costs mean a larger number of low income households are likely to require more financial support, through Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) and access to dedicated affordable subsidised housing in order to avoid housing stress and provide stable housing options.

Indexation of CRA has not kept pace with growth in private sector rents. Even with CRA payments, many households are unable to avoid housing stress. This forces those who can least afford housing out of the private rental market and increases demand for subsidised housing, whether social or community.


Maintain the existing tax settings that apply to rental income and capital gains from investments in residential property.

Ensure any incentives aimed at increasing the supply of ‘build to rent’ housing do not create unintended consequences on the existing incentives and supply of private rental housing.

Review Commonwealth Rent Assistance to ensure it remains appropriate for the contemporary rental market.