Vulnerable Australians are a step closer to having a place to call home under a $10 billion housing fund, amid warnings broader reforms are needed to fix the nation’s housing crisis.
The Albanese government’s signature Housing Australia Future Fund will start on Wednesday.
The fund will help deliver 30,000 social and affordable rental homes within the next five years.
Returns from the fund will also help the government address crisis areas in the housing system.
This includes providing support to remote Indigenous communities, women and children fleeing family violence, older women at risk of homelessness and Australia’s defence force veterans.
Housing Industry Association managing director Jocelyn Martin said broader reforms were needed to address housing shortages.
These included faster planning approval timeframes and a boost to higher density residential development in existing suburbs near jobs and transport.
Financial regulations needed to be eased to make it easier for banks to lend and potential home buyers to borrow, she said.
Taxes on investors and owner occupiers needed to be abolished and replaced with “fairer” sources of revenue.
“Without these broader reforms, the pressure on social and affordable housing will remain, and the continued under supply of housing of all forms will only increase,” Ms Martin said.
Housing Minister Julie Collins said the beginning of the fund marked another important milestone.
“This will mean more Australians have a safe and affordable place to call home,” she said.
“The Housing Australia Future Fund is just one part of our ambitious housing reform agenda, which is already making a real difference right across the country.”
(Australian Associated Press)