Expand homebuilder to social housing
The Federal Government has a golden opportunity to capitalise on the stimulatory effect of homebuilder by extending the program to social and affordable housing, easing the risk of homelessness as programs such as JobKeeper tail off.
According to The Australian surging demand for the $25,000 grant means the cost to government has increased from $688m to more than $2.5billion, fuelling more than $30bn in direct construction and housing investment. Economic modelling by the sector estimates the scheme has contributed to $103 billion in broader economic activity and the creation of 340,000 jobs.
Everybody’s Home – the national campaign to end homelessness – said it made excellent economic sense to also apply stimulus spending to social housing, which would both generate jobs and ease homelessness.
“The $100 billion stimulus impact of homebuilder is great news for construction. If we directed some of this to social housing, it would be even more powerful, because we could ease the threat of homelessness for those families left behind by the current housing boom,” said Kate Colvin, national spokesperson for Everybody’s Home.
“Every economist worth their salt agrees taxpayers receive a compelling return on their dollar when it is invested in social housing. We can create jobs, ease homelessness and reduce the demand on other government services such as hospitals and homeless shelters.
“The Federal Government can get maximum impact from every dollar they spend on social housing by encouraging the states to match their contribution and partner with them in social housing growth.
“Having a roof over your head is the foundation stone for re-entering the workforce or getting an education.
“The people who need homes are often women and children escaping family violence or people recovering from an unexpected illness or trauma.
“As the success of homebuilder shows, there are enormous economic benefits to stimulating the construction sector. By expanding this stimulus to social housing, we can also achieve a powerful social dividend.”