• Social housing commitment welcomed for the most vulnerable

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    Author: The Real Estate Institute of Australia

    Mother sitting on couch at home with a baby on her lap, scrolling on her phone looking concerned.

    The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomed the Leader of the Opposition’s Budget-in-Reply commitment for a $10 billion social and affordable housing fund for those that need it most.

    REIA President Adrian Kelly said it is an area of the housing market that needs to be fixed, as highlighted by COVID-19, where the private rental sector supported tenants through rental eviction moratoriums.

    “Done well, social and affordable housing also provides an important stepping-stone to participating in private markets and home ownership, especially if housing is strategically built close to work, education and public transport.

    “If a Future Fund style model sustainably finances the gap for community housing providers without top up from the public purse, then that is a sensible thing and puts the sector in good stead as well as builds on the existing success of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

    “In particular housing support for families fleeing domestic violence situations is both most welcomed and much needed,” he said.

    Mr Kelly said a comprehensive plan was needed to address supply and affordability issues in the private rental market. The total package of houses to be built through the Future Fund would amount to the equivalent of one per cent of extra rental stock.

    “The private rental market is around 27 per cent of the housing spectrum, the absolute majority of which is currently supplied and paid for by mum and dad investors. We need a comprehensive plan that addresses all players in property.

    “Negative gearing will remain an absolutely critical part of this, and if the Opposition is serious about dealing with affordability issues, they need to give mum and dad investors the confidence to continue to invest with certainty.

    “The reality is that rents are largely unchanged due to the pandemic with the March 2021 quarter CPI figures showing that the rental market continued its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in most capital cities.

    “The capital city weighted average showed that rentals remained unchanged in the March quarter, following an increase of 0.1 per cent in the December 2021 quarter,” Mr Kelly said. 

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