AFFORDABLE SOCIAL DISABILITY HOUSING | Not-for-Profit Tier-One Community Housing Provider

BlueCHP Limited Submission – Inquiry on Affordable Housing

The following is a summary of BlueCHP Limited (BCL) Submission to the Parliament of Australia Senate Standing Committee on Economics.

BlueCHP Limited (BCL) recognises there is a need for the Parliament of Australia Senate Economics Committee to hold an inquiry on Affordable Housing to find innovative solutions to the housing demands and shortages of affordable housing.

According to the National Housing Supply Council Data 2010, State of Supply Report, the gap for affordable housing is set to almost double. As of 2013, there was a shortage of 75,000 dwellings, and that figure is set to increase to 116,000 by 2016.

BCL believes that through strong leadership in the housing sector, the issue of resolving affordable housing can be solved without distorting the private housing market. The impact on the overall economy will be very positive as it is well known the housing multiplier has a major impact on the Australian economy.

BCL recommends the following actions:

  1. Encourage States to provide an increase in land and related property tax exemptions to alleviate the affordable housing shortage in Australia.
  2. Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to be increased to supplement the gap between market rents and social (subsidised) rents. CRA to remain readily available to CHPs.
  3. Cash injection to Tier 1 CHPs of up to $100 million for those with development capacity.
  4. Maintenance of NRAS as an on-going Commonwealth funding program for affordable housing managed by CHP’s due to better long-term affordable housing outcomes.
  5. Encourage State-based local government areas (LGAs) via COAG to provide better national planning regime.
  6. Provide innovative and responsible funding mechanisms to provide debt financing through 10-year debt guarantees and rolling 10-year housing bonds.
  7. Provide when there CHP’s direct funding to build more accommodation for aged care facilities are opportunities reducing cost of the health sector
  8. Encourage the utilisation of the NDIA through direct funding to CHP’s for disability housing for new stock.
  9. Scrap the NAHA with the implementation of points 2, 3, 7 and 8.
  10. Appoint an Assistant Minister for Housing under the Minister for Social Services.

The housing shortages in Australia are high due to a continuously growing gap between demand and supply in housing stock. This is due to strong population growth, strong investor activity and a low-interest rate environment. These factors impact on a market suffering a shortage of housing stock and land due to high infrastructure costs and local and state planning constraints.