Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Easing Pressure on Housing Affordability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women

The Australian Government has established a Housing Affordability Fund and will invest $512 million over the next five years to lower the cost of building new homes.

The Government is committed to tackling housing affordability for working families and is delivering on its election commitment to improve the level of housing affordability across the country.

The fund will address two significant barriers to the supply of housing development:

  • infrastructure costs – such as water, sewerage, transport, and open space
  • holding costs – incurred by developers as a result of long planning and approval waiting times

Money will be targeted to local governments for green-field and infill developments where high dwelling demand currently exists or is forecast to occur.

The Rudd Government’s total commitment to the Housing Affordability Fund will be $512 million over a five year period, with $359 million allocated in the next four years.

From 1 July 2008, the fund will be distributed by direct grants to areas of high priority, primarily to local governments, through a competitive tender process.

Proposals will be assessed against transparent, needs-based selection criteria and will have to demonstrate that cost savings are passed on to new home buyers.

Up to $30 million will be used to develop IT infrastructure and software to roll out nationally, electronic development assessment systems and online tracking services to reduce red tape and streamline planning approvals.

The Rudd Government is committed to working closely with all levels of government, particularly local councils, to reform infrastructure and planning requirements.