National Shelter welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Australian Labor Party Discussion Paper on Housing Affordability. Our submission is based upon National Shelter’s role as Australia’s peak housing advocacy organisation, our Policy Platform, Meeting Australia’s Housing Challenges, developed over a number of years in consultation with our members across the country, as well as more recent consultations National Shelter conducted around the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
National Shelter has worked closely with Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), Homelessness Australia, the National Association for Tenants’ Organisations, and the Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA) to develop An Affordable Housing Reform Agenda, which provides extensive goals and recommendations to reform our housing system. The Reform Agenda, published in March 2015, recommended adopting clear targets to increase the supply of affordable housing and reduce homelessness:
- Halve homelessness by 2020 (to 50,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night and 125,000 persons requiring specialist homelessness services each year);
- Halve the shortfall in housing supply available and affordable to the bottom 40% of household incomes by 2025; and
- Meet the shortfall in housing supply available and affordable to the bottom 40% of households by 2035, thereby ending homelessness caused by lack of housing.