I grew up in inner-city Melbourne in public housing in the 70s and 80s. Having access to affordable housing helped level the playing field, it offered my family real equality of opportunity. Despite challenges and some prejudices, I faced, it gave me the chance to succeed based on merit and hard work.
For too long there has been an ongoing decline in funding for public housing, with public housing stock as a total percentage of housing stock not increasing since the Hawke/Keating governments. The last time significant federal money was spent on public housing was during the Global Financial Crisis under the Rudd and Gillard Governments, when $5.2 billion was spent on the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. I have publicly advocated for more investment in public housing and you can read more about my advocacy on public housing.
Housing Australia Future Fund
I am proud that a Federal Labor Government will create a $10 billion off-budget Housing Australia Future Fund to build social and affordable housing and create thousands of jobs now and in the long term.
Each year investment returns from the Housing Australia Future Fund will be transferred to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to pay for social and affordable housing projects.
Over the first 5 years the investment returns will build around:
- 20,000 social housing properties.
- 4,000 of the 20,000 social housing properties will be allocated for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
- 10,000 affordable housing properties for frontline workers
This investment will directly support 21,500 full-time jobs across the construction industry and broader economy, per year, over 5 years, nationwide – one in 10 direct workers on site will be apprentices.
In addition to this, a portion of the investment returns will be available to fund acute housing needs in perpetuity. This funding will be used for additional crisis, transitional and long-term social housing in parts of the country with the greatest need.
In the first 5 years these investment returns will fund:
- $200 million for the repair, maintenance, and improvements of housing in remote Indigenous communities, where some of the worst housing standards in the world are endured by our First Nations people.
- $100 million for crisis and transitional housing options for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
- $30 million to build more housing and fund specialist services for veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.