Housing supply: media releases

Undersupply of affordable housing forces difficult housing choices

National Shelter media release — 1 March 2013

National Shelter has welcomed the National Housing Supply Council’s report released today, revealing Australian’s unaffordable housing issue continues to grow.

The report, Housing supply and affordability issues 2012–13, used the 2011 Census data, examining Australian households’ housing consumption and how it has changed over the last decade.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said that the report demonstrates that Australians are changing their housing choices due to the lack of affordable housing options.

‘This is a reminder that affordable housing needs to be a priority, as well as a continued investment in social and affordable housing supply by government.

‘It shows that in the past decade, there has been a decrease in homeownership in major Australian capital cities, increase in overcrowded homes, more people living in marginal housing and becoming homeless.

‘The major cause of these changes, as stated by the National Housing Supply Council, is the lack of affordable housing.

‘Housing shortages are driving innovation, such as mixed-user developments leveraging the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

‘We applaud the solutions from government, including the Social Housing Initiative, which have demonstrated the effectiveness of investing in affordable housing.

‘The National Shelter policy platform insists on the delivery of an extra 200,000 social and affordable rental dwellings by 2021.’

Please see 2012 National Shelter Policy Priorities, Meeting housing challenges, for more policy recommendations.

For more information:

  • Emma Greenhalgh, National Shelter Project Manager: 0402 927 243
  • Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter Chairperson: 0417 975 270
  • Kim Zoe Evans, Communications Officer: 0404 429 203

Ongoing social housing investment benefits wider community

National Shelter media release — 8 January 2013

National Shelter has welcomed a KPMG report declaring the overwhelming benefits of social housing investment through the 2009 economic stimulus plan, as well as the economic boost to the building industry.

The $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative was the single largest housing funding commitment in Australian history. The KPMG report showed that 19,700 new dwellings were constructed — exceeding targets by about 13 per cent, created about 9,000 full-time and 14,000 part-time jobs, and generating an additional $1.5 billion per year of construction activity. The funding was also used to repair over 80,000 dwellings nationally and over 12,000 were upgraded to habitable housing.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, said the report highlights the economic value of this most important social investment and that the community would further benefit from social housing investment.

‘The Social Housing Initiative came at a time when the need for affordable housing was desperate for many Australians.’

‘The KPMG report clearly demonstrates that the Social Housing Initiative was a step in the right direction, creating more opportunities for low-income and homeless Australians and stimulating the construction industry.’

‘I call on the Australian state and territory Governments for continued investment in affordable housing and where the currently struggling building industry could gain greater benefits than 2009.’

‘The National Shelter policy platform insists on the delivery of an extra 200,000 social and affordable rental dwellings by 2021.’

Please see 2012 National Shelter Policy Priorities, Meeting Housing Challenges for more policy recommendations.

For more information:

 

  • Emma Greenhalgh, National Shelter Project Manager: 0402 927 243
  • Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter Chairperson: 0417 975 270
  • Kim Zoe Evans, Communications Officer: 0404 429 203

Roundtable to tackle Tasmania’s affordable housing crisis

National Shelter media release — 21 November 2012

National housing peak National Shelter is calling for the state and federal governments to commit to affordable housing solutions in Tasmania, at a roundtable to be held in Hobart tomorrow, 22 November 2012.

The roundtable, convening to discuss the future of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), aims to hear the different perspectives of government and non-government experts.

18,000 Tasmanian households are in housing stress. For people on low incomes renting privately on pensions and allowances, the figures are concerning — with 58% in Hobart and 52% statewide living in unaffordable housing.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, says these figures are unacceptable and a major contributor to the cost of living pressures on people across Tasmania.

‘Tasmanians are experiencing a housing affordability crisis, with those struggling to pay housing costs at risk of financial hardship and poverty.’   

'It is integral that state and federal governments work together to address this crisis, and reduce the amount of housing pressure currently being experienced in the state.’

The latest ABS data shows that the rate of homelessness has increased in Tasmania from 27.5 persons per 10,000 in 2001, to 31.9 in 2011.

‘Tasmania experiences the highest proportions of homeless persons staying temporarily with other households (hidden homelessness), having improvised dwellings, and that are sleeping out’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘This week we will be encouraging all sides of politics to agree to address Tasmania’s housing challenges with solutions to reduce housing pressure and homelessness.

‘This includes the continued investment in affordable housing programs such as the National Rental Affordable Scheme (NRAS) and the growth fund for social housing.’

Shelter Tasmania’s Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg, commends the Tasmanian Government on its delivery of 1400 new affordable homes since 2009 and its recommitment to continue the National Partnership on Homelessness for the next year.

‘With the recent census data showing an 38.1% increase in homelessness in Tasmania, the biggest increase of any state or territory we need to find ways to get more housing built and delivered to those who need it most and prevent homelessness.’

Contacts

Launch of national housing priorities calls for national housing strategy

National Shelter media release — 30 October 2012

On the eve of the National Housing Conference, National Shelter calls on the federal government to develop a National Housing Strategy.

This is based on the release of National Shelter’s 2012 housing priorities publication, ‘Meeting housing challenges’, today at the National Shelter Council Meeting.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, says the publication showcases just how overdue a housing strategy is.

‘More than one in 10 Australian households will experience housing stress this year, and yet the last national housing strategy was developed in 1991’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘In the last 21 years significant changes have occurred in the Australian housing market, including changes in government policy, structural changes in the economy and the introduction of the GST.’

Key recommendations from the 2012 National Shelter policy priorities include :

  • The Australian government increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) by 30%
  • The Australian government commit to an ongoing program of 50,000 NRAS incentives doubling to 100,000 after 2016
  • The Australian state and territory governments commit to the delivery of an extra 200,000 social and affordable rental dwellings by 2021.
  • The Australian, state and territory governments commit to the continuation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness beyond 2013
  • The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) embed the National Affordable Housing Agreement as a permanent part of its decision-making, and expand it to include all forms of housing assistance.

National Shelter encourages all sides of politics to agree to address Australia’s housing challenges through the continued investment in affordable housing programs such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and a growth fund for social housing.

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email: eo@qshelter.asn.au

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: comms@qshelter.asn.au

Renters miss out again! — in Reserve Bank interest cuts

National Shelter media release — 3 October 2012

National housing peak National Shelter says the greatest housing stress is experienced by renters who will not directly benefit from interest rate cuts.

Announcing its lowest cash rate since 2009, the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday cut its interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said that while first-home buyers and investors can breathe a sigh of relief, many renters will continue living in housing stress.

‘We welcome the rate cuts as a boost to the housing market, and look forward to the reinvigoration of Australia’s building industry’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘However we are concerned that renters, who make up the majority of those in housing stress, are missing out on the chosen initiatives to reduce the cost of housing in Australia.’

‘Lower interest rates might move some frustrated purchasers out of rent and help ease vacancy rates, but they do nothing to take pressure from rent prices because of low supply.’

National Shelter believes it is time to inject more investment into affordable housing programs, such as a growth fund for public housing and doubling the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

‘Currently Australia’s supply of affordable housing is stagnant. We need to help renters by supporting programs that assist tenants to sustain residencies and decrease pressure in the private market’.

‘A growth fund will help address this supply through greater investment in social housing, while NRAS provides a sustainable solution beneficial to both renters and private investors’.

For more information on National Shelter’s policies, please see the National Shelter policy platform ‘Meeting housing challenges’ at www.shelter.org.au.

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email: eo@qshelter.asn.au

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: comms@qshelter.asn.au