Construction stimulus welcomed but future social focus needed

PowerHousing Australia

The announcement of the Morrison Government stimulus is welcomed as vital to providing an economic lever to an ailing residential construction industry, but forecasts of a decimated housing market indicate social and affordable stimulus will be required if the market just isn’t capable of taking up the offer.

With forecast activity at the end of June expected to sit around 180,000 dwelling completions for the previous 12 months, and the national residential peaks forecasting only around 110,000 commencements for F2021, there are clear buyer demand challenges that will require layers of residential stimulus policy.

Nicholas Proud, CEO of PowerHousing Australia, which represents 36 of Australia’s largest Tier One and scale-growth Community Housing Providers, said “In the last major economic downturn, social housing and affordable stimulus took up a lot of the slack when the market was unable to respond. It was quick to reactivate the residential activity when new home buyers just weren’t there.

“With Jobkeeper coming to an end in October, we will see a lot of people needing support for at least a 6-24 month period. Steps toward tackling what this means for the housing of millions of Australians will need to be taken soon as it is more likely that more people will need social housing support.

“PowerHousing Members, who manage or own over 70,000 homes, have seen growth in the number of people seeking affordable rentals and those in affordable rentals have requested rental reductions in cases. These two factors are symptomatic of the additional pressure on the broader rental market.

“PowerHousing Members had constructive discussion last week with the Federal Housing Minister, The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, and are confident of there being more announcements to support social housing. Social housing will always play a role where the market can’t.

Every new home provides periods of work for 43 trades and subtrades. This provides significant flow though to the economy in manufacturing and retail. This first tranche of housing policy will provide the first layer of support to all these businesses but more will be needed.

“While there is a variety of options to support the health and welfare of Australians through this difficult period, there is more to be done in housing. There is a need to immediately mobilise to drive new commencements and support the economy with a social focus ahead of the Federal Budget,” said Mr Proud.

/Public Release.