Treasurer signals right first step towards affordability fix

PowerHousing Australia, the peak body representing 28 of Australia’s largest Community Housing Providers (CHPs), has welcomed Treasurer Scott Morrison’s commitment to deliver a raft of measures that address housing right across the lifecycle spectrum.

From aiding new supply, to creating more social and affordable housing, supporting first home buyers and seniors looking to downsize, this package has been a while coming but signals a step in the right direction for fixing Australia’s housing affordability challenges.

PowerHousing CEO Nicholas Proud said adopting the UK bond aggregator model will open streams of institutional funds to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. Community Housing Providers, the industry’s quiet achievers, are well-placed to leverage these funding flows to maximise new housing stock.

PowerHousing Members have, over the past 10 years, grown into credible scale managers, operators and developers of new and existing social housing dwellings and we do this by quietly achieving the highest level of social outcomes.

Public housing has decreased by 24,000 since 2007, community housing in Australia has over the same period grown from 33,526 to 72, 410 dwellings as per the recent Productivity Commission Report on Government Services. The community housing sector has largely built scale on the basis of property transfers and the Federal National Rental Affordability Scheme.

Providing funds through to the community housing sector will deliver more affordable homes more cost-effectively and assist those on low incomes through to first home ownership with more options, new housing and the potential for a suite of wrap around services to aid training, education, health and livable outcomes.

Australians will have to wait until the Budget to know whether the Treasurer will secure the deep funding measures that are required to meet the gap between what those in affordable housing can provide and what it is vital to deliver in terms of dwellings into the long-term future. This is an integral part of the CHP model and PowerHousing is  hopeful this gap will be addressed in the upcoming federal budget.

There has been some solid work undertaken in the states with reviews of New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania showing good progress in meeting National Agreement Targets such as facilitating 35% of public housing being operated by the Community Housing Sector.

Ultimately access to new finance streams, as suggested here, allows for the best return on government investment with more affordable housing delivered at the lowest cost to taxpayers – a win-win situation.

Today’s announcements are a strong Federal Government acknowledgement of our CHP Members’ commitment to being commercially astute and achieve economies of scale by working with government, tier one/innovative financial lenders and scale developers to design and construct affordable housing options.

Nicholas Proud will be attending the AHURI Conference in Melbourne and will be available for comment.

For further media enquiries contact:
Nicholas Proud, CEO, PowerHousing Australia, 0408 538 126..