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Government commits additional $1bn to housing bill

by Kate Aubrey12 minute read

The federal government’s housing bill is on the brink of securing approval in Parliament, after the Labor Party has committed an additional $1 billion to the fund.

Despite having been in a stalemate in Parliament, the federal government’s Housing Australia Future Fund Bill (HAFF) is set to gain approval from the Greens after the government bumped up its spending commitment for public and community housing.

The package had been stalled by the 'No-alition' (made up of the Coalition, One Nation, and the Greens), which raised concerns about the impact on inflation, and the Greens, who called for additional funding for social and affordable housing as well as a rent freeze.

The HAFF includes plans for 30,000 new and affordable social homes to be built in the first five years, along with 4,000 homes for women and children affected by family and domestic violence or older women at risk of homelessness.This legislation, initially introduced in February and met with resistance, was reintroduced last month, with expectations for its approval in the Senate later this week.


It comes after the Labor government found an additional $1 billion to spend on public and community housing that will be distributed through the National Housing and Investment Finance Corporation (NHFIC).

This brings the additional funds for social and affordable housing up to $3 billion, securing the support of the Greens.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has welcomed the support from the crossbench and called this legislation a “significant reform” for housing in a generation and emphasised its role in providing safe and affordable homes for Australians.

“Delivering the Housing Australia Future Fund will ensure more Australians have a safe and affordable place to call home,” Mr Albanese said.

The legislation also includes funding commitments for various housing needs, including:

  • $200 million for the repair, maintenance, and improvement of housing in remote Indigenous communities
  • $100 million for crisis and transitional housing options for women and children impacted by family and domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness
  • $30 million to build housing for veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

“This will mean more homes for key workers, more affordable homes for Australian renters, and more homes for those most in need,” Mr Albanese said.

Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens, welcomed the changes, stating: “Nine months ago, the government refused to guarantee a single dollar for housing, and renters barely even registered in the national debate. The Greens have secured $3 billion directly spent on housing, and renters are now a vocal social movement that won’t be ignored.”

He added: “Pressure works. Labor said there was no more money for housing this year and we pushed them to find $3 billion, and although Labor backs unlimited rent rises, we’ll push them on that too.

“Renters are powerful and the Greens are the party of renters. We have won more money for housing for renters, and rent control is next,” he said.

Members of the building and construction industry have welcomed the new developments.

Property Council of Australia CEO Mike Zorbas welcomed the agreement., stating: “A wealthy, land rich nation like Australia should not have a housing deficit.

“This is welcome news for new social housing and housing supply in general,” Mr Zorbas said.

Australia now has a better chance of achieving our ambitious national target of 1.2 million homes by 2029.

“Now we must turn our attention to the unfinished business of improving our state planning systems so they can deal with the welcome influx of skilled migrants and students over the decade ahead,” he said.

Chief executive of Master Builders Australia, Denita Wawn, commented: “The Housing Australia Future Fund legislation is a vital piece in the housing puzzle by encouraging investment in the social and community housing sector.

“Passing this legislation is imperative to delivering the National Housing Accord target of 1.2 million new, well-located homes in the next five years.

Ms Wawn also expressed relief at the cooperation observed across all levels of government in prioritising solutions to the housing crisis.

She said: “The combination of the Housing Future Fund, the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, and Housing Australia firmly establishes housing as a core infrastructure priority for the Federal Government.”

[Related: Labor makes final push for housing Australia future fund]

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