$10 billion to improve housing affordability and tackle homelessness
COAG has agreed to nearly $10 billion in funding for the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and its associated National Partnership payments.
These agreements commit Governments to pursue reforms in public and community housing, provide additional support for homelessness and to tackle the current state of remote Indigenous housing.
The National Partnership payments will provide additional funding towards:
- $800 million over five years to reform and improve our response to homelessness
- $1.94 billion over 10 years ($834.6 million over five years) to improve the quality of Indigenous housing and tackle overcrowding in remote communities; and
- $400 million over two years for social housing as a down payment on longer term reforms.
The Commonwealth and the States agreed to a new NAHA, commencing on 1 January 2009 and providing $6.2 billion over five years from 2008-09.
Jenny Macklin and Tanya Plibersek said the agreements demonstrated the Australian Government’s leadership role in helping Australians into secure and affordable housing.
Secure and affordable housing significantly improves economic and social outcomes, it also assists people to establish themselves in the broader community, and these agreements will help all levels of Government to work towards these goals for all Australians.
For the first time the National Affordable Housing Agreement covers all Government housing programs from home ownership to homelessness.
COAG has agreed to commence reform of the public and community housing system including greater national consistency and a national regulatory framework for the not-for-profit housing sector.
State and Territory Governments have agreed to publicly report on their performance on housing affordability in key areas of homelessness, Indigenous housing, affordable rental, affordable home purchase and the efficiency and responsiveness of the housing market.
The agreement also includes commitments to increase housing supply. The Australian Government will be working with State and Territory governments to develop supply targets based on the work of the National Housing Supply Council and planning authorities.
The National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing will improve the living standards of Indigenous Australians in remote areas by tackling overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing conditions and severe housing shortages.
Under the National Partnership agreement on homelessness, the Commonwealth and the States will work together to reduce significantly homelessness by 2013, through a national strategic approach focused on prevention and early intervention, breaking the cycle of homelessness and creating a new outcomes-focussed service model.
This will be achieved by improving the service response to homelessness, with the aim to end homelessness by driving integration between mainstream and homeless specific services and improving service quality.
This funding package will also help address the housing needs of Indigenous people in urban and regional Australia.
The agreement will contribute to the delivery of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness to be released in coming weeks.
The National Partnership agreement on Social Housing will establish a Social Housing Growth Fund, which will be spent on building additional public and community housing including specialist accommodation for people who are homeless.
The funds from this agreement will need to be spent over the next 18 months as an immediate stimulus, providing a boost to the building and construction industry.