Media Release – Community Housing Providers Heroes of Federal Budget 2017

Short of the proverbial – and non-existing – silver bullet to fix Australia’s housing issues, the Federal Government has nonetheless put forward a robust commitment to housing in tonight’s budget.

Nicholas Proud CEO of PowerHousing Australia which represents 29 of Australia’s largest Tier One Community Housing Providers said the 2017-18 Budget leaves no-one behind in opening up measures to support the homeless, first home buyers, investors, seniors, and impact investing to finally tackle the provision of affordable housing with Community Housing providers being central to the task.

We welcome the Treasurer’s acknowledgement of the vital role Community Housing Providers have to play in ensuring that all Australian’s have a roof over their heads,” Proud said.

Encouraging the states and territories to transfer existing stock to the community housing sector results in social housing that is managed best practice, longer lasting with scale efficiencies.

Our members are the ones who will deliver homes on the scale sought by the new National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation which is being established to operate an affordable Bond Aggregator

However, the restructure of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) does open up some questions.

The recalibration of the NAHA promises to deliver a better return on federal investment, but it will require the states to play ball.

Community Housing Providers can build affordable homes at scale but we need to ensure the renegotiated NAHA doesn’t leave a funding gap when it comes to the weekly rental payments for struggling Aussies – such a gap would put shovel ready sites on hold in definitely.

What this budget gets absolutely right is the broad suite of measures that attempt to create better housing outcomes right across the board.

Housing affordability starts to improve when you have the provision of land, streamlined planning systems and reduced costs to see housing delivered – tonight’s budget ticks all these boxes and incentivises better delivery of housing.

There are incentives for investors – in the form of an increased capital gains tax windfall which offsets the reduced rent – to purchase and provide housing at or below market rents which will encourage supply over a sustained period.

The rent to buy model and shared equity schemes are currently being engineered and the commitment here is to provide a platform Australian’s can use to go from renting to fulfilling the dream of home ownership.

The model behind the First Home Super Savers Scheme incentivises first homebuyers to put a bit extra aside and get together a deposit appears sound, but we would have liked to see the concession cap of $30,000 pegged higher in recognition of average capital city house prices, particularly in Sydney.

The online Commonwealth land release database is an excellent initiative and the announcement of an initial release on Melbourne’s outskirts is welcome. A priority must now be identifying and fast tracking a similar release in Sydney.

We welcome the greater certainty afforded to homeless housing providers which will assist organisations to operate over longer term cycles than 12 months.

The Turnbull Government has today laid out the framework for a potential long-term solution to the challenges posed by housing in Australia’s rapidly changing market.

The devil will be in the delivery and the stakes higher than ever before. Our Community Housing Providers stand ready to help make the government’s new schemes a success.


For further media queries contact:

Nicholas Proud CEO, PowerHousing Australia, 0408 538 126.