Australian Government push for action on affordable housing
Following the historic Joint Meeting of Housing, Local Government and Planning Ministerial Councils in Melbourne today, Ministers agreed to support the Framework for National Action on Affordable Housing (NAAH).The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, the Hon Jim Lloyd MP, were joined by State and Territory ministers in endorsing what is considered to be a first national, strategic, integrated and long-term vision for affordable housing in Australia across multiple portfolios.
The NAAH Framework is the result of many months of work between housing, local government and planning Ministers to encourage the provision of affordable housing for low-income earners.
It follows on from last year’s Productivity Commission Inquiry into First Home Ownership, which found that stamp duty, land supply and infrastructure costs were major contributors to escalating housing costs.
The Howard Government has shown its commitment to housing through sound economic management that has led to both low interest rates, low unemployment and increased family assistance through the Family Tax Benefit.
Since the introduction of the New Tax System, over 700,000 Australians have benefited from the First Home Owners Grant, which is a total of almost
$5.3 billion in First Home Owners grant payments.
This is in addition to the around $2 billion in Rent Assistance the Howard Government provides each year to help Australians with the cost of renting.
Senator Patterson and Minister Lloyd welcomed the commitment of States and Territories to address some of these problems through planned reform of state-based planning and development mechanisms.
Senator Patterson also noted more work still needed to be done to reduce the stamp duty costs to the Australian home buyer.
The Howard Government will continue to support a national housing framework, which will enable more Australians, including those on low incomes, to access affordable housing.