$9bn Home Affordability Gets Cut From Budget

Having decided that it has not delivered any meaningful outcomes to ease Australia’s housing crisis, the Turnbull Government will move to scrap a national affordable housing scheme.

The scheme has reportedly cost the Federal Government almost $9 billion after taking flight during the Rudd era, and will face the chopping block in the May budget.

The Australian obtained the data that revealed the lack of success, reporting that despite pledges to increase the supply of social housing, the 2017 Report on Government Services (ROGS) shows a consistent fall of public housing stock since 2009 instead of increasing as promised, going backwards by 16,000 homes.

They said the transfer of public housing stock to subsidised social housing had also failed to meet any targets to increase the supply of affordable housing, and 20 per cent of that existing stock was now considered to be in an unacceptable state while 8 per cent was uninhabitable.

The Australian also said states and territories had failed to deliver on commitments to alleviate by 10 per cent the number of low-income households under rental stress, considered to be those spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. The number of households now in that category rose from 32.4 per cent to 42.5 per cent since 2008.

Homeless rates also rose 17 per cent.

“We ­believe it’s crucial that every dollar of spending on affordable housing programs increases the number and availability of public and ­social housing stock,” Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar told The Australian.

“Clearly, this objective has not been met.”

The Government is considering radical reforms which could include a bond scheme, bankrolled by the government, to stimulate investment from the private sector to expand capacity.

The financial result of scrapping the scheme is said to deliver immediate savings to the budget of $1.5 billion a year.

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