Social housing programs around the country – time is of the essence 

As the federal parliament entered its winter break our colleagues at National Shelter joined other sector colleagues in this joint media release urging the Parliament to move quickly to pass a number of housing related bills on its return – the most well-known being the bill to establish the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF).

With the legislative agenda still uncertain, Shelter NSW like our counterparts around the country, welcomed the announcement of the Social Housing Accelerator Fund -of $2billion to States and Territories to deliver social housing with funds to be disbursed this month. As National Shelter CEO Emma Greenhalgh noted in this media release, this represents the most substantial direct investment in social housing by the Federal Government since the Rudd-era GFC stimulus program.

Funds are to be fully committed by 30 June 2025, and can be used for new builds, expanding programs, renovating or refurbishing existing but uninhabitable stock. Of the $2 billion, NSW will receive a direct $610 million investment. We look forward to seeing how the NSW Government will quickly apply those funds to begin rebuilding the safety net of social housing across the state. 

Around the country various updates caught our eye. Firstly, this post by the Western Australia Minister for Housing and Homelessness described a record $2.6 billion investment in social housing and homelessness, seeing an extra 1,356 social homes (756 of these homes delivered in the 2022-2023 financial year) and a further 1,100 social homes currently under contract or construction. The Western Australian Government’s spot purchasing program, like the Queensland Government’s recent purchases of hotels for emergency accommodation represents we think, a smart and highly efficient way to quickly add to social housing stock.