Social housing commitment welcomed for most vulnerable

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomedthe Leader of the Oppositions Budget-in-Reply commitment for a $10 billionsocial and affordable housing fun for those that need it most.

REIA President Adrian Kelly said it is an area of thehousing market that needs to be fixed, as highlighted by COVID-19, where theprivate rental sector supported tenants through rental eviction moratoriums.

Done well, social and affordable housing also provides animportant stepping-stone to participating in private markets and homeownership, especially if housing is strategically built close to work, educationand public transport.

If a Future Fund style model sustainably finances the gapfor community housing providers without top up from the public purse, then thatis a sensible thing and puts the sector in good stead as well as builds on theexisting success of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation(NHFIC).

In particular housing support for families fleeingdomestic violence situations is both most welcomed and much needed, he said.

Mr Kelly said a comprehensive plan was needed to addresssupply and affordability issues in the private rental market. The total packageof houses to be built through the Future Fund would amount to the equivalent ofone per cent of extra rental stock.

The private rental market is around 27 per cent of thehousing spectrum, the absolute majority of which is currently supplied and paidfor by mum and dad investors. We need a comprehensive plan that addresses allplayers in property.

Negative gearing will remain an absolutely critical partof this, and if the Opposition is serious about dealing with affordabilityissues, they need to give mum and dad investors the confidence to continue toinvest with certainty.

The reality is that rents are largely unchanged due to thepandemic with the March 2021 quarter CPI figures showing that the rental marketcontinued its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in most capitalcities.

The capital city weighted average showed that rentalsremained unchanged in the March quarter, following an increase of 0.1 per centin the December 2021 quarter, Mr Kelly said.

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