It's time to fix Australia's housing system this election

It’s time to fix Australia’s housing system this election

Shelter WA has joined forces with the Everybody’s Home campaign to highlight the importance of fixing Australia’s broken housing system.

From people wanting to buy their very first house, to others struggling to just find a safe and affordable roof over their heads, it’s clear that the system just isn’t working for everyone.

A system focused on property investment is locking a generation out of home ownership. There aren’t enough diverse and affordable rental properties in locations where people need to live for work or family commitments. With more and more people struggling to find homes they can afford on the private rental market, the demand for affordable rentals is outstripping supply. A chronic shortage of social and affordable housing is forcing people into homelessness. And mortgage stress is a growing issue for many people as house prices fall, placing pressure on individuals and families.

Shelter WA Chairman Mark Glasson with Dr Anne Aly MP Member for Cowan

During this 2019 Federal Election campaign we urge voters to consider carefully the key policy priorities when it comes to housing affordability and homelessness.

Australia’s housing system is broken. But there are five things our government can do to make it work for everyone. We’re campaigning for:

1. Support for first homebuyers - we need to rebalance our tax system to make it fairer for ordinary Australians wanting to buy a home.

2. More social and affordable rental homes - develop a National Housing Strategy to meet Australia’s identified shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable rental homes. We need more homes for local communities, not for profits.

3. A better deal for renters - get rid of “no grounds” evictions and unfair rent rises so that the 1 in 3 Australians who rent have the security they need to create homes, build lives and raise families.

4. Immediate relief for Australians in chronic rental stress - increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance for the thousands of Australians who are struggling to pay the rent.

5. A plan to end homelessness by 2030 - with real effort we can halve homelessness in five years - and end it in 10.

It’s pretty simple. With the right policy levers and investment choices, and harnessing the strengths of the community housing and services sector in partnership with government and industry, we can fix Australia’s housing system, so everybody has a place to call home.

[L-R] Lisa Kazalac; Consultant, Advocacy and Policy Shelter WA, Senator Louise Pratt; Senator for Western Australia and Michelle Mackenzie; Chief Executive Officer Shelter WA

Fast Facts
• Western Australia has a shortfall of 136,000 affordable homes to meet current needs.
• Approximately 14,000 people are on the social housing waitlist in WA with an average wait time of over two and a half years.
• 4,000 clients are supported by 185 Homelessness Services across WA, including 1,000 children in families that need support.
• On any given night over 9,000 Western Australians experience homelessness.
• $11.8B of assistance is provided to property investors through negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions: Twice as much as government investment in social housing, rent assistance and homelessness services

About Shelter WA
Shelter WA is an independent peak body that advocates for social and affordable housing and ending homelessness. We know housing unlocks opportunity, enhances health and wellbeing, provides access to educational and employment options and enables people to fully participate in community life. We believe housing is a basic human right.

Media Contact
Shelter WA – Michelle Mackenzie, Chief Executive Office – 0419 931 819.

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