St Vincent de Paul Society is relieved to see the Parliament’s passing of the long-delayed Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) Bill, with the addition of an extra $1.0 billion to be spent on public housing this year.
‘This perfectly reasonable outcome should have been achieved sooner. The beneficiaries would not only be a significant number of people on the social housing wait list, including some who are homeless, but the builders who would have been able to better schedule their work and required materials,’ said the Society’s National President, Mark Gaetani.
Mr Gaetani said the Society fully supports the objects of the HAFF, which are to address the particular acute housing needs of certain groups and increase the funding of social and affordable housing.
‘Australia is experiencing a tight rental market, and low levels of social housing. In conjunction with a cost-of-living crisis, this means many in our community are suffering. There are over 122,000 Australians homeless on any given night,’ he said.
‘But more progress should have been made to date, as many Australians are desperately waiting for secure and affordable housing, which helps reduces poverty and improves health, education, employment, social participation, and social mobility.’
The Society’s National Council has previously welcomed the significant commitments of National Cabinet and the Commonwealth to addressing the housing and rental crisis.
‘It was heartening to see that from July 2024, the National Cabinet targets the building of 1.2 million new homes over five years. The Commonwealth has also committed to providing $3.0 billion in performance-based funding for states and territories.
‘The Housing Support Program, a $500 million competitive funding program for local and state governments, aims to boost housing supply.
‘We support National Cabinet’s sign-up to A Better Deal for Renters, including addressing no cause evictions and rental bidding, and the need to limit rent increases to once a year and introduce more uniform rental process and standards.
We also urge a 25 per cent increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance, paid to eligible people who rent in the private market or community housing. Our report A Fairer Tax and Welfare System for Australia shows how this could be funded through easily implemented reforms.’
Read about our housing and homelessness advocacy.
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia consists of 45,000 members and volunteers who operate on the ground through over 1,000 groups located in local communities across the country.
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