Master Builders Australia applauds the Parliament for passing the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) and associated housing supply bills.
“The HAFF is a missing piece of the puzzle in establishing ongoing support for social and community housing. It is a start to resolve the housing crisis but there is more to be done,” said Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn.
“Master Builders thanks the Greens, Jacqui Lambie Network and Senator Pocock in supporting a pragmatic and common-sense approach to help Australians doing it tough.
“Passing this legislation was imperative to assist in delivering the 1.2 million new, well-located homes through the National Housing Accord.
“This is great news for Australians who desperately need community and social housing and will help secure an ongoing supply in this part of the housing market.
“Master Builders acknowledges the tireless efforts of Minister Collins in ensuring this legislation passes and thanks her for the ongoing collaboration with the industry.
“We know that there are shovel-ready community and social housing projects so let’s get on building.
“The immediate investment into the social and community housing sectors will assist with plugging the gap in short-term annual housing shortfalls.
“Master Builders has forecast 2023-24 and 2024-25 will see a dip in residential building activity, falling short of the 200,000 homes a year we need to meet demand.
“The National Supply and Affordability Council will play a role in monitoring and improving policy regarding land, planning and regulatory processes – a necessary part of the reform pathway that will contribute to more investment opportunities.
“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to achieve the revised target of 1.2 million homes announced by National Cabinet last month.
“The ball is now in the court of state and territory governments to deliver on their commitments on planning reform.
“We know the biggest handbrake on housing supply is making it easier for new projects to get the green light by kickstarting private investment and reducing development costs and delays.
“From development approvals, building approvals and occupancy certificates, it is simply taking too long to build. A concerted effort to reduce these backlogs and the unnecessary time and cost constraints will go a long way to increasing private sector investment.
“The industry has the capacity to start delivering on shovel-ready projects but warns over the medium-term more needs to be done to tackle labour market shortages.
“We need around half a million new entrants by the end of 2026 to build the homes and supporting infrastructure we urgently need.
“We need to avoid any unnecessary regulations and laws that deter people from wanting to work in the industry or hamstring businesses in red tape.
“Master Builders will continue to hold constructive discussions and collaborate with the Government to ensure the industry is in the best possible position this includes advocating against damaging legislation that could jeopardise these efforts such as the industrial relations laws currently before the Parliament,” Ms Wawn said.
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