Senate Hearings Into Affordable Housing
Tuesday, 29th July 2014 at 11:44 am
The first public hearings have begun into the Senate Inquiry into Affordable Housing.
The Inquiry has received 218 submissions from peak Not for Profits bodies as well as individual welfare and homelessness services organisations, accounting and legal firms as well as individuals .
One of the submissions is by new South Australian Senator Bob Day from the Family First Party, who is a former National President of the Housing Industry Association.
His submission says that in creating the conditions for home ownership to become the privilege of the few rather the rightful expectation of the many, state governments have produced intergenerational inequity and breached the moral contract between generations.
“In human affairs this imprecise, and at times neglected, moral contract between generations dictates that we should leave things better than we found them. When it comes to home ownership the contract has been breached. In making home ownership much harder for the next generation we have denied them much more than a home. We have denied them the security and benefits that go with home ownership and the opportunity to build wealth that will provide them with options in later life,” his submission said.
“While influential bodies like the Productivity Commission and the Reserve Bank focused their attention on demand drivers like capital gains tax treatment, negative gearing, interest rates, readily accessible finance, first home buyers' grants and high immigration rates, few were looking at the real source of the affordability problem – land supply for new housing stock.
"It is undeniable that demand factors played a role in stimulating the housing market and those factors were, for the most part, in the hands of the federal government. However, the real culprit, the real source of the problem, was the refusal of state governments and their land management agencies to provide an adequate and affordable supply of land for new housing stock to meet the demand.”
An inquiry into Australia’s Affordable Housing was established under the Senate Economics References Committee in Canberra.
Labor Senator Jan McLucas succeeded in getting the inquiry through the Senate during the final hours of Federal Parliament for 2013.
“There are a number of economic, social and infrastructure factors determining housing affordability,” Senator McLucas said.
“While there has been significant recent investment into housing, pressures on affordability of housing in Australia have continued to intensify, especially in capital cities and mining communities.”
The inquiry will investigate the role of all levels of government in facilitating affordable home-ownership and affordable private rental, including:
a. the effect of policies designed to encourage home ownership and residential property investment;
b.the taxes and levies imposed by the Commonwealth, state and territory, and local governments;
c. the effect of policies designed to increase housing supply;
d.the operation,effect and future of the National Rental Affordability Scheme;
e. the regulatory structures governing the roles of financial institutions and superannuation funds in the home lending and property sectors;
f. the operation and effectiveness of rent and housing assistance programs.
As well, it will investigate the impacts, including social implications, of public and social housing policies on housing affordability and the role of all levels of government in providing public and social housing.
The first hearing took place in Adelaide on Monday and the second scheduled hearing will take place in Canberra on Wednesday, July 30. Further hearing dates are yet to be scheduled.