Commonwealth Housing and Homelessness Plan

While the NSW state election is clearly absorbing much of our attention, there has been a lot of activity at the Commonwealth level. The Government’s housing legislative package passed through the House of Representatives and is now being considered by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee.

The legislation will establish the Housing Australia Future Fund, the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council and turn the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) into a national housing agency, Housing Australia. These changes will be underpinned by a ten year National Housing and Homeless Plan. A key feature of this plan is to build 30,000 new social and affordable homes in the fund’s first five years, including 4,000 homes for women and children impacted by family and domestic violence or older women at risk of homelessness.

The scope and delivery vehicle of this plan is not without its critics. It is encouraging however, to see the Commonwealth actively confronting the problem of housing unaffordability and homelessness and engaging with our sector.

Beyond these big, legislated reforms, the Shelter network across the country is looking to the Federal Budget handed down in early May for additional commitments.

As we send this bulletin of course, the sector is valiantly trying to prevent a $65 million cut to funding to homelessness services. It’s hard to imagine a worse time for homelessness programs and services to be impacted in this way.
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