Federal Government’s renewed focus on affordable housing welcomed

Launch Housing has welcomed today’s announcement from the Federal Government regarding the establishment of a new Affordable Housing Implementation Taskforce, which will develop an affordable housing bond aggregator model for consideration by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.

“There are few issues more important than ensuring the welfare of all Australians than housing,” Launch Housing CEO, Tony Keenan said.

“Today’s announcement of a new bond aggregator model promises to increase the supply of affordable housing.

“We know this model works – a similar approach has delivered tens of thousands of units of social housing in the United Kingdom.

“While the introduction of the bond aggregator and the Government’s renewed focus on affordable housing is very welcome, we have an ongoing concern about the capacity of low income renters to get housing under this model, without a corresponding review of rent assistance.

“The taskforce should also review Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to ensure that debt levels under these bonds can be serviced.

“The level of rent assistance in the UK, for example, is much more clearly linked to rental markets.

“For many people in the community it is very difficult to find properties that are affordable to rent, and this adds to the very real risk of homelessness.

“When something goes wrong in people’s lives such as losing a job, or a relationship breakdown, the supply of affordable housing can be a crucial protective factor, and for many, prevent homelessness.

“Many people are only one crisis away from homelessness.

“We know that the problems are particularly dire for single people on Newstart, especially if they have been unemployed for some time.

“We congratulate the Turnbull Government for their renewed focus on addressing the housing affordability crisis, and their priority on ensuring that the most vulnerable Australians are considered,” Mr Keenan added.