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Statement by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Budget 2008-09 Housing Statement

Hello, I’m Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Housing.

Having a roof over your head, and knowing you will continue to, is a fair expectation in a thriving country like Australia.

But amidst our booming economy there are stark lines of division in the housing market.

There are those who own their own home, or who have substantially paid it off, and seen its worth dramatically increase over the last decade.

Then there those who are trying to save the deposit to buy their first home, or who are struggling to afford their mortgage repayments, or who feel they are condemned to rent for the rest of their lives.

Sadly, there are also Australians who have no home to go to – 100,000 of them homeless every night.

The Australian Government has committed $2.2 billion new dollars in this Budget to address housing affordability and homelessness.

We are not interested in playing the blame game with the States and Territories.

We want to play a leadership role and work with all governments across the nation to ease the pressure.

So how will the money be spent?

Over the next four years, $622 million will help build up to 50,000 new rental properties through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

$359 million in the Housing Affordability Fund will deliver more homes, more quickly and at less cost.

$100 million will build hundreds of new homes for the homeless across Australia. And more than $1.1 billion will help new home buyers save for a deposit through our new First Home Saver Accounts.

More detail about how serious the Government is about dealing with these issues can be found on the Budget website (www.budget.gov.au)

Goodbye and thanks for watching.