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Budget 2016: Housing Affordability Ignored

4 May 2016 at 11:18 am
Lina Caneva
The first Turnbull budget has ignored the issue of housing affordability according to Not for Profit experts.

Lina Caneva | 4 May 2016 at 11:18 am


Budget 2016: Housing Affordability Ignored
4 May 2016 at 11:18 am

The first Turnbull budget has ignored the issue of housing affordability according to Not for Profit experts.

National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski said that in a budget described as a national economic plan, there was no plan for housing “except to again rule out changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax and dream about the benefits of value capture on infrastructure”.

“Housing is the major cost facing every vulnerable household and this budget offers no relief. The budget continues to favour speculative investors over homeowners,” Pisarski said.

“The failure to address this causal factor in house price inflation is a failure to support the home ownership aspirations of generations X,Y and millennials.

“The failure to address the tax treatment of housing locks people in the rental market, adding demand and price pressure to rental affordability and adding to the one million households in housing stress.

“Housing is the major cost facing  every vulnerable household and this budget offers no relief.”

Pisarski said that the budget discussed replacing the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing with a new remote housing partnership but provided no forward estimate expenditure to ensure it is funded.

He said the budget offered no increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance to assist renters, no increase to public housing funding to provide more public housing, no new money for rental affordability incentives to leverage private investment to provide more stock for renters on moderate incomes, and no new financing option for affordable housing or response to the Senate inquiry into housing affordability or reform of the federation.

“The budget does introduce a compulsory rent deduction scheme for public housing tenants which we think will limit the finial flexibility of those affected,” Pisarski said.

Welfare Not for Profit Anglicare described the budget as “lightweight and meaningless”.

“This year’s budget is lightweight, with next to nothing on what we see as the vital issues – affordable housing, secure work and adequate income,” Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said.

“No homes for the homeless, only tinkering to taxation and the benefits are still mostly for the big end of town.

“This budget hasn’t really delivered outcomes for the common good, and there are still large sections of our community being left behind, for all the smoke and mirrors that suggest otherwise.”

In April Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot revealed that less than 0.1 per cent of rental properties were affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance.

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness Senator Kay Gallagher said the budget did not include a single initiative to address housing affordability in Australia.

“After almost three years in office and three budgets, the fact that the Turnbull government remains without a housing policy or a housing affordability strategy is an absolute disgrace,” Gallagher said.

“In fact, the only announcement this government has made on housing affordability has been about what they won’t do to support first home buyers and those on modest incomes who are desperately trying to purchase their first home but are currently being locked out of an unaffordable property market.

“With the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that almost one million households are now living in rental or mortgage stress, there are now many Australians who don’t believe they will ever be able to own their own home.

“This budget does nothing to support these people to enter the housing market, increase housing supply across Australia or make housing more affordable for low and moderate income families.”

She said former prime minister Tony Abbott’s annual cuts of $44 million to homelessness capital funding also continue under the Turnbull government in this budget.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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