Master Builders welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the inquiry into the worsening rental crisis in Australia and contribute policy ideas to improving the chronic undersupply of rental accommodation.
There is no denying millions of Australians are feeling the mounting pressure of rising costs of living across the housing spectrum.
By taking an evidence-based approach, we can pave the way for a sustainable solution that not only addresses the housing crisis and pain felt by Australians but also ensures the long-term health of the housing market.
- Returning the rental market to balance will rely on resuscitating building activity in the higher density part of the market. Action on both the supply and demand sides of the market is required to bring this about.
- On the supply side, it is important that governments work to reduce the cost of creating new homes and strive to deal with the obstacles which slow down the process of building new homes.
- More government held land should be released for the development of housing.
- We urge all levels of government to publish an inventory of its current land holdings and categorise it according to its suitability for future residential development.
- In future, financial payments from federal government to the states and territories should be linked to how much progress they achieve in boosting the supply of new housing. In particular, their performance with respect to planning reform, taxes and charges imposed on new home building, transparency, accountability and the improvement of data collection should be taken into account.
- The Federal Parliament should pass the Housing Australia Future Fund which is designed to create 40,000 new social and affordable homes over a 5-year period.
- The proposed redesignation of NHFIC as Housing Australia under whose remit the new National Housing Supply & Affordability Council offers considerable potential with respect to addressing the undersupply of new housing and consequent affordability problems. Spending allocations in the federal budget must support Housing Australia in tackling these issues as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Delivering an effective National Housing Plan that deals with the challenges in delivering affordable housing options for all Australians.
- Consideration should be given to measures to help expand the stock of new homes in regional areas so that migrant labour inflows can be accommodated more readily.
- Expand the size of Housing Future Fund capital investment from $10 billion to $20 billion.
- Commit all levels of government to redirect one per cent of development taxes and charges to social and affordable housing.