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Housing solutions, rent caps, centre to national cabinet discussions

by Josh Needs11 minute read

Despite the Greens’ demands to place a rent freeze across the nation, the Prime Minister has said the discussions would focus on greater housing supply.

As the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commences meetings with the national cabinet, he has again ruled out the imposition of nationwide rent freezes, despite the Greens’ position to continue opposing the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) in the Senate unless they are implemented.

Speaking at a doorstop in Melbourne, Mr Albanese said at the “front and centre of our agenda” of the national cabinet meeting would be discussions on how the country delivers on the National Housing Accord.

He reiterated his view that the HAFF was one of the key items that needed to be passed as part of the solution to the housing crisis and again called out the “no-alition of the Liberals, the Nationals, the Greens and One Nation”.


He said: “It’s not enough to continue to defer the consideration of the Senate of the Housing Australia Future Fund as they’ve done on two occasions. They need to get on with passing that legislation. We know that’s just one component of the other elements that we’ve put in place.

“We want to work with state and territory governments and local government as well, to make sure that we can deliver on housing supply.”

While Mr Albanese ruled out a complete rent freeze the federal government had proposed reforms for the national cabinet that would limit the frequency of rent increases and ban evictions without reason across states and territories that currently do not have them.

However, when asked at the doorstop how he would get HAFF to pass the Senate after ruling out the Greens’ rent freezes he called on the party to “support social housing”.

“The Greens political party can’t say they want more social housing and then vote against it. That’s what they keep doing and it’s time for the political games to end,” he added.

“This (HAFF) is a scheme that should have begun on 1 July and every day of delay is less social housing.

“Every single group, community housing providers, are all saying that they’re ready to go. You have community housing providers who have approvals, DAs, all they’re waiting for is for this fund to be passed and a lot of them did work in anticipation of this.”

Outgoing RBA governor Philip Lowe declared the only way the nation’s governments could tackle the housing problem was through increasing supply.

Mr Lowe said: “There’s always a tendency to try and come up with short-term solutions. There aren’t short-term solutions here.

“The solution has to be putting in place a structure that makes the supply side of the housing market more flexible.

“And that means zoning and planning deregulation.”

Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president councillor Linda Scott said all levels of government must be included in the search for a housing solution, not bypassing the local level.

Ms Scott said: “It’s vital that we invest in building more liveable and sustainable communities for future generations. That’s why we need all levels of government working together to coordinate, fund and build the physical and social infrastructure all Australians need – roads, parks, libraries, local services, schools, and hospitals.

“As the closest level of government to our communities, councils intimately know and understand what our communities need, especially of the need for increased affordable housing.

“There’s no evidence to show that removing planning powers from councils is delivering more affordable housing. We know we get much better housing outcomes in our cities, towns and regions when decisions are made locally.”

[Related: Rent freezes and rent caps must be put to rest: REIA]

anthony albanese   reb


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