Australia has a national housing supply council, we need a national housing supply strategy
Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Wednesday December 21st, 2011
The growing crisis in affordable housing must be met by a national housing strategy, the Australian Greens said today as new figures revealed a huge and worsening crisis in affordable housing.
Australian Greens housing spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, welcomed the release of the National Housing Supply Council’s State of Supply Report and called on new housing minister Robert McClelland to tackle the crisis head on.
“We have a national housing supply council, but no national housing supply strategy. We need to see a commitment from the Government to providing the programs and the funding needed to fill the huge shortfall in affordable housing availability.
“Rent and house prices have torn away from wages and the CPI: From 2001 to 2011, full-time average weekly earnings increased by less than 60 per cent, while house prices in Perth rose by 195%.
“Rents have increased at more than triple the rate of inflation, and while house prices have softened marginally this year – rents continue to rise dramatically. The report cites national RIEA figures of 85% rent increases in the last decade, but the real figures are much higher than that.
“And the crisis is growing. The new minister needs to tackle key questions; to what extent will he be directly guided by the work of the Supply Council? Will he attach targets to this new report and use this to form a national housing strategy? How is this directly informing and guiding future funding for Department of Housing and Homelessness programs?
“The growth in the gap between underlying demand and adjusted net supply of dwellings is alarming: From a gap of 186,800 in 2010 to 214,700 in 2011, at a time when the housing market is comparatively weak.
“And it is not simply a question of demand and supply, but effective demand and affordable supply. In 2010 there was a gap of almost half a million affordable and available rentals: a shortfall of 493,000. We need decisive action based on a comprehensive strategy to deal with this crisis,” said Senator Ludlam.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302