Media Release by The Hon Sarah Henderson MP

Henderson brings together housing providers to tackle Victoria’s housing affordability problem

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, will meet with Victorian community housing providers today as part of a roundtable to discuss the future of affordable housing.

“Meeting with Victorian community housing providers and hearing their views on sector challenges and opportunities is extremely beneficial,” said Ms Henderson.

“Community housing is a key component of Australia’s affordable housing policy platform. The Government recognises the sector’s importance for providing Australians with safe, secure and affordable housing, and encourages engagement by the sector in building future housing policy in Australia.”

Ms Henderson welcomes the opportunity to engage with the sector on the Review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (the Review), expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

“The Commonwealth is contributing $1.1 million towards the Review, which will result in a stronger and better regulated sector and improved outcomes for tenants. I encourage my home state of Victoria to join the National Regulatory System for Community Housing following the Review’s completion,” Ms Henderson said.

Ms Henderson said the Government has a comprehensive housing affordability plan (the plan) to improve housing affordability and housing outcomes for all Australians.

“The Government is unlocking supply, creating the right incentives and improving outcomes for those most in need through its comprehensive housing affordability plan.”

The plan contains measures to increase the supply of affordable housing, including establishing the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), which operates the $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility and the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator. The NHFIC offers loans, investments and grants to encourage housing investment, including in community housing.

Community housing providers will also be able to access the NHFIC to increase the supply of housing for people with disability. The Government is already providing $94 million a year for Specialist Disability Accommodation for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants. However, this funding is projected to grow to $700 million per year when additional specialist housing stock is available.

The plan also includes a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to fund state and territory governments with $1.5 billion each year. Under the NHHA, the Commonwealth Government expects to provide over $395 million in 2018-19 to the Victorian Government. This is in addition to $981.7 million in 2017-18 paid to Victorians through Commonwealth Rent Assistance.