National Shelter media release — 3 October 2012

National housing peak National Shelter says the greatest housing stress is experienced by renters who will not directly benefit from interest rate cuts.

Announcing its lowest cash rate since 2009, the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday cut its interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said that while first-home buyers and investors can breathe a sigh of relief, many renters will continue living in housing stress.

‘We welcome the rate cuts as a boost to the housing market, and look forward to the reinvigoration of Australia’s building industry’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘However we are concerned that renters, who make up the majority of those in housing stress, are missing out on the chosen initiatives to reduce the cost of housing in Australia.’

‘Lower interest rates might move some frustrated purchasers out of rent and help ease vacancy rates, but they do nothing to take pressure from rent prices because of low supply.’

National Shelter believes it is time to inject more investment into affordable housing programs, such as a growth fund for public housing and doubling the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

‘Currently Australia’s supply of affordable housing is stagnant. We need to help renters by supporting programs that assist tenants to sustain residencies and decrease pressure in the private market’.

‘A growth fund will help address this supply through greater investment in social housing, while NRAS provides a sustainable solution beneficial to both renters and private investors’.

For more information on National Shelter’s policies, please see the National Shelter policy platform ‘Meeting housing challenges’ at

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: