Budget surplus belies affordable housing deficit

The 2019-20 Federal Budget ramps up last year’s record infrastructure spend to hit $100bn over a decade but offers no new initiatives in the affordable housing space.

This affordable housing budget deficit position sits in contrast to the position handed down at Budget 2017-18 when affordable housing was a centrepiece of the budget and future announcements for housing were imminent.

The nation built the most significant social bond and National Housing Finance Investment Corporation in the two years since Budget 2017, and further work around this infrastructure boost will be needed to tackle affordable housing deficits across the nation.

It was terrific to see the Treasurer referencing NHFIC’s work in tonight’s budget speech. Their support will enable our members to scale up and deliver the affordable housing at scale that Australians need.

CHPs are focused on implementation of previous years’ budget measures but welcomed the infrastructure that ultimately supports many low and middle income families.

The infrastructure investments announced tonight complement these prior investments by helping to reduce congestion and make it easier for Australians, including key workers and those on low and middle incomes, to more easily get to and from work.

Australia is heading for a slowdown in new housing delivery at rates never seen before which will place a handbrake on jobs, see less taxes collected, state economies decline and supply contract which only serves to place upward pressure on pricing.

Whilst there is a federal election campaign just days away, the innovative leadership of the 2017-18 Budget should not be a one-off, particularly as we are heading to declines in future year building approvals of up to 50,000 dwellings compared to the levels experienced in the year up to March 2018.

There are tens of thousands of families who, over the next five years, are set to see the loss of the NRAS One incentives which started to lapse in December 2018. A response to non-CHP managed NRAS homes is critical.

We warmly welcome this budget’s record investment in women’s safety, including $78.4m to provide safe places for people impacted by domestic and family violence.

These Australians will also benefit from the additional tax cuts included in this year’s budget, which had a strong focus on cost of living – something that remains top of mind for so many people.

We commend the government on returning the budget to surplus and look forward to delivering the homes that their policies in this and previous years have helped to support.”