Homes for All: A Roadmap to Affordable Housing offers proposals to make renting more secure and more affordable. It’s a call for major reform of our tax and policy settings. And most importantly, it outlines strategies to end the undersupply of affordable housing.
The roadmap states: “If we don’t end this shortfall, we don’t stand a chance of protecting people on the lowest incomes from homelessness.”
The roadmap: recommended actions
Anglicare Australia proposes phasing in a regime of tax reform. These reforms would be phased in over ten-years, but commencing them is a first step to financing the remaining aspects of the Roadmap. These tax reforms should be accompanied by a reset of policy settings which provide inequitable benefits to those with existing wealth and assets.
As part of these reforms, the capital gains tax discount would be incrementally reduced over the next ten years. This incremental approach would guard against concerns about the impact of the reform on housing markets.
Negative gearing should be used target investment in social and affordable housing. The current negative gearing arrangements should be phased out for new investors.
The revenue savings from these reforms would be used for a plan to sustainably fund and maintain social housing. In addition to the tax and policy reforms we propose, this plan could include tax credits and measures to better leverage private investment through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.
Social and Affordable Housing
Anglicare Australia proposes a program to expand social and affordable housing at a rate of at least 25,000 homes each year, working up to a target of 500,000 new homes. The program would begin immediately, and expand over twenty years. The program includes:
» 300,000 new social housing properties, including dedicated Aboriginal housing, and
» 200,000 low-cost rental properties for low- and middle-income earners.
Additionally, Commonwealth incentives to State and Territory Governments should be reoriented away from asset sales and towards asset maintenance and capital investment.
State, Territory and Local Governments should also introduce incentives and requirements for new developments to include affordable and low-cost housing. Levers such as concessions and rate caps can also be leveraged to promote the supply of affordable and low-cost housing.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance
Anglicare Australia calls for reform of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help those in rental stress, and an increase to the payment. The payment should also be indexed to rental prices, rather than general inflation, to ensure support for renters keeps up with the cost of rent.
Read the full report here.