Governments need to work together on housing challenges

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:47

Meeting current affordable housing and homelessness challenges needed the joint effort of all levels of government, Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Zed Seselja said today.


Senator Seselja was addressing the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute’s conference on the future of housing assistance in Adelaide.


He said that despite significant investment in housing and homelessness assistance – almost $10 billion annually by the Commonwealth, states and territories – housing and homelessness outcomes continued to decline.


“When the Labor party were in Government, they left Australian taxpayers with a number of legacy programs with little accountability and which have seen very little improvement in housing affordability” Assistant Minister Seselja said.



Senator Seselja said that the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), which represents around $1.3 billion of Commonwealth investment each year, requires particular attention. 



“We can’t mistake activity for outcomes,” Senator Seselja said, “despite significant investment, not only has the NAHA failed to meet virtually all of its original objectives, on most measures affordable housing has gone backwards.”


“Since Labor implemented NAHA proportion of low income households in rental stress increased from 35.4 per cent in 2007-08 to 42.5 per cent in 2013-14 and the number of homeless persons has gone up by 17.3% since 2009”.


“We need to ensure that this investment is directed at achieving the best possible outcomes for those households in housing stress or at risk of homelessness,” he said. “In particular, we need to look at how planning and zoning issues can be a key impediment to increasing housing supply and improving housing affordability.” 


“I am looking forward to the housing and homelessness ministers’ meeting in Sydney next month to discuss how we will all work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for households in housing stress or at risk of homelessness.” Senator Seselja concluded.