The following is a summary of PowerHousing Australia’s Submission to the Parliament of Australia Senate Standing Committee on Economics which BlueCHP Limited (BCL) fully supports.
An inquiry into Affordable housing by PowerHousing Australia has declared the Australian housing system is broken.
Affordability is stretched and there is an increasing supply gap. Homeownership rates are declining, private rental is increasingly unable to offer suitable housing for key workers and public housing is financially unsustainable and shrinking in size as demand rises.
Furthermore, the NSW Auditor General’s 2013 report, ‘Making the Best Use of Public Housing’ found public stock is ageing and increasingly not fit for purpose. There is not enough funding available for necessary maintenance and as a result, houses are being sold to meet funding shortfalls.
The social housing portfolio faces simultaneous problems of under-occupancy in some locations, and overcrowding in others.
A shift to a multi-provider system with strong community housing providers such as the members of PowerHousing is a necessary paradigm shift to build a sustainable system.
PowerHousing Australia suggests proposes the following points as solutions in addressing the challenges of the housing system:
- Encouraging the states to increase the scale of public housing transfers, including the targeted asset transfer, to sophisticated community housing providers with a track record of efficiency and growth.
- Creating a contestable growth fund or community housing providers as part of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) to drive innovation and system efficiencies.
- Promoting greater use of cross-sector partnerships to deliver social and economically sustainable developments, with major input from not-for-profit organisations.
- Supporting the growth of new institutional investment in affordable housing by providing targeted support for housing goods.
- Making the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), with providers such as the members of PowerHousing playing a key role in meeting the need for appropriate, affordable housing.
- Encouraging a greater use of intermediate housing options such as shared ownership to help moderate-income household’s move towards home ownership.