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Housing Australia Future Fund legislation passed

Media release

Housing Australia Future Fund legislation passed

Media release
The Housing Australia Future Fund legislation has finally passed through the Senate. This paves the way for the establishment of the Housing Australia Future Fund. The Housing Australia Future fund will receive funding of $10 billion and is tasked with supplying 30,000 new social and affordable homes.

This is a welcome development after the Bill was needlessly held up in the Senate.
While the Housing Australia Future Fund is the headline policy measure of this Bill, the Bill also included legislation necessary to implement several other elements of the housing package that Labor took to the 2022 federal election. These include:

  • Creating the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council to inform the Government of gaps in the supply and affordability of housing in Australia and assisting the Government to make evidence-based policy and funding decisions. Passage of the Bill formalises arrangements for the Council chaired by Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz which has been operating on an interim basis;
  • Re-branding the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to ‘Housing Australia’;
  • Defining the responsibilities of Housing Australia, which expand the remit of the entity to assist in the implementation of the work undertaken by the Housing Australia Future Fund, alongside its existing responsibilities which include the Home Guarantee Scheme, the new Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, the Bond Aggregator and the National Housing Infrastructure Facility;
  • The Bill also extends the duration of the Government’s guarantee of securities issued by the Bond Aggregator.

Following the successful passage of the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill, HIA will continue working with the Australian Government as the policy focus now shifts towards identifying and implementing reforms to support the State and Territory Governments, Local Governments, and industry to achieve the goal of building 1.2 million new homes over the next five years.
Earlier this week when it was announced that the Government had gained the numbers in the Senate to pass the Housing Australia Future Fund legislation, HIA made the following statement:
“The fact that the Albanese government and the Greens have finally reached an agreement means we are a step closer to getting on with the job of supplying Australians with the housing they need,” added Ms Martin.
“The arrangements mean there is a commitment for a $10 billion investment towards the construction of at least 30,000 social and affordable housing over a five-year period. The announcement of an additional $1 billion will be invested in the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to support new homes also signals the Government’s recognition of the need to deliver homes to those who need them.
“The need for greater housing supply in Australia has become more acutely apparent in recent years.
“The rebound in immigration, acute rental shortages and tight labour markets are fuelling demand for housing across Australia, driving rents and dwelling prices ever upwards.
“It is a relief to see this important enabling legislation has passed through parliament and that the need for greater housing supply across the housing continuum is being taken seriously.
“The Australian government recently announced that it wants to see 1.2 million homes built over the five years starting July 2024, as part of its National Housing Accord.
“It is important to recognise that the commitment to supply 30,000 social and affordable homes via the Housing Australia Future Fund represents only 2.5 per cent of this aspirational target.
“The private sector will still have to do most of the heavy lifting in terms of meeting Australia’s housing needs, and it is being constrained by policy that inflates the costs of home construction and finance.
“Broader reforms are required to reduce these costs and aid the private sector in enabling the delivery of these targets:

  • Planning systems need to facilitate more higher density residential development in existing suburbs near jobs and transport.
  • The release of greenfield land and provision of infrastructure needs to be expedited.
  • Punitive taxes on both investors and owner occupiers need to be abolished and replaced with fairer and broader sources of revenue.
  • Financial regulations need to make it easier for banks to lend and potential home buyers to borrow.

“Without these broader reforms, the pressure on social and affordable housing will only increase, and the government’s latest announcement will prove inadequate,” concluded Ms Martin.

For more information please contact:

Jocelyn Martin

HIA Managing Director

Geordan Murray

Executive Director – Future Workforce
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