The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese of a proposal that would see the construction of some 30,000 new social and affordable homes under a Labor government.
CEO Julia Cambage said the proposed $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, with an annual investment return, has the potential to change the housing futures of tens of thousands of Australians for generations to come.
“For too long we have seen successive governments tinker around the edges of social and affordable housing policy,” Ms Cambage said.
“At the same time, Australia’s homelessness and housing affordability crisis has steadily worsened.
“Big, bold new thinking is needed to turn this around. This is what the Institute has been calling for over many years now. It’s what many of our members are focused on, pioneering new models, new partnerships, new ways to make our homes more sustainable and more affordable.
“Housing is a fundamental human right, and we welcome the Opposition Leader’s recognition of this in his budget reply speech tonight.
“The Institute particularly welcomes the focus on constructing new social and affordable housing for the most vulnerable and most in-need sectors of our community.”
The Labor proposal includes:
- 4,000 new social housing homes for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes;
- $100 million for crisis and transitional housing for women at risk
- $200 million for the repair, maintenance and improvements of housing in remote Indigenous communities
- 10,000 affordable homes for frontline workers
- $30 million over the first five years to build more supportive housing and fund specialist services for veterans who are either living or at risk of homelessness.
“The impacts of Covid-19 will continue to be felt for years to come. Australia needs long-term structural reform to keep people in jobs and in homes they can afford that are also better for both their wellbeing and the health of the planet.
“The Institute applauds the focus on incorporating good design around energy efficiency, making homes more liveable and energy bills more affordable with better health outcomes.
“The proposed Housing Australia Future Fund would create lasting assets for the community and ongoing jobs, suggested to be in the order of 20,000 per annum – a very welcome initiative.”