LIBERALS FAILING OLDER AUSTRALIANS ON HOUSING

16 Oct 2018

Reports that the National Debt Helpline is on track to receive a record number of calls this year, particularly from older Australians struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, further highlights the Liberal Government’s failure on housing policy.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
LIBERALS FAILING OLDER AUSTRALIANS ON HOUSING
 

Reports that the National Debt Helpline is on track to receive a record number of calls this year, particularly from older Australians struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, further highlights the Liberal Government’s failure on housing policy.

The report coincides with today’s release of ACOSS’s Poverty in Australia Report that shows more than 3 million Australians are living in poverty, and that a lack affordable housing is a key driver of disadvantage in Australia.
 
Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Doug Cameron, said the Coalition has failed to deliver national leadership or any substantive policy to address the housing crisis in its more than five years in office.

“The Liberals continue to oppose Labor’s reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions aimed at improving housing affordability,” Senator Cameron said.
 
“They are too busy worrying about how they will give tax breaks to their mates in big business to worry about vulnerable older Australians.
 
“There are parts of western Sydney where house prices have risen more than 80 per cent while wages have grown just 10 per cent over the same period.”
 
Senator Cameron said the Government’s failure to bridge the funding gap, along with the short-sighted decision to discontinue the National Rental Affordability Scheme, has severely curtailed the supply of affordable rental housing.
 
Housing policy experts are unanimous that bridging the funding gap is essential to improving housing affordability and securing better housing outcomes for Australians.
 
“The Liberals have ignored calls from the Senate Economics Committee, its own Affordable Housing Working Group, and key experts and stakeholders, to urgently address the ‘yield gap’, in order to encourage institutional and community housing providers to invest in and build affordable housing.
 
Senator Cameron said the Liberals also continue to ignore the gendered determinants of housing insecurity and homelessness for women, which he said stem from gender inequality.
 
Recent ABS figures show a 31 per cent rise in homelessness among older women between the 2011 and 2016 Census.
 
“This alarming rise in women experiencing homelessness is compounded by a lack of affordable housing, low levels of superannuation and deficiencies in the social security system,” he said.
 
If elected, a Labor government will:
 

  • Pursue a comprehensive suite of housing affordability and supply reforms – including our commitments to restrict negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.
  • Develop and implement a national plan to reduce homelessness through the Council of Australian Governments.
  • Reinstate a Minister for Housing and Homelessness, and re-establish the National Housing Supply Council, and
  • Provide $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing Fund to increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people exiting out-of-home care and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.TUESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2018

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.