Peak housing group National Shelter says the budget failed the fairness test the government trumpeted and the Commonwealth must now lead a nationally coordinated effort to address the affordable housing crisis.
While stimulus was provided to small business and child care and parental leave received attention, nothing was done to relieve the housing stress experienced by over 1 million Australian households.
National Shelter Executive Officer Adrian Pisarski said “Rents are the largest household cost faced by every struggling family, they have been rising rapidly, but renters got nothing from the budget.”
“iIf we are serious about reducing welfare costs we need to address the market failure not wait for market magic to fix the problem.”
"Despite the Senate Inquiry into affordable housing being released last week the federal budget failed to respond to any measure it contained to improve the fairness of Australia's housing system. They didn't have a go at housing!"
The Inquiry report calls for an increase in funding to boost supply, an examination of tax created market distortions, reinstatement of NRAS, more rent assistance, a national strategy and ongoing coordination with the states.
“If we wait for the reform of the federation and tax processes before anything is done, renters will be left to suffer. Home owners and investors have had costs reduced through interest rate reductions but nothing has been done to improve rental supply or provide more assistance to renters.”
Mr Pisarski fears that without urgent attention Australia's levels of housing stress and homelessness will continue to increase. "They just don't seem to appreciate the depth of despair ordinary people suffer because of their inability to gain appropriate housing.”
Only a couple of weeks ago Anglicare’s rental snapshot found there were only 1% of properties in Australia affordable for households on allowances.
"Increasingly older Australians, people with disabilities, young people, students and those on low incomes struggle to meet their housing needs and face impossible costs or homelessness as a result."
Mr Pisarski also pointed out that with homelessness and housing peaks being defunded in the MYEFO there will also be fewer voices defending the position of low income renters.
For further contact Mob | 0417 975 270 Adrian Pisarski