Federal gov calls for affordable rental housing ideas

The federal government has called for submissions on ways to finance affordable rental housing in order to boost supply. The call follows the creation of an affordable housing working group in early January made up of members from Treasury, the Department of Social Services and members of the NSW, Victorian and Western Australian governments.

“One of the keys to increasing the supply and availability of affordable rental housing is attracting investment,” Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said.

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“Improvements in the area of attracting investment to affordable housing supply will require innovative and collaborative approaches across the private and not for profit sectors, and with states and territories.”

The working group has released an issues paper that outlines a number of potential models for financing affordable housing, including the introduction of housing bonds, the establishment of a housing trust, housing cooperatives and social impact investing. The paper also indicated that the working group will not be examining existing policies including the National Rental Affordability Scheme, taxation, land release, planning and the regulation of community house providers.

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Last year ArchitectureAU published extracts from a presentation given by US housing expert David Rosen where he said that creating permanent, annually-renewable sources of funding and establishing durable public-private partnerships were two of the most important areas Australia needs to address to move forward on affordable housing.

A Senate Economics Reference Committee affordable housing report handed down in May 2015 made 40 recommendations, but the federal government only supported nine of them.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 11 March 2016. To view the issues paper put out by the working group or to make a submission click here.

The working group is expected to provide a final report by 30 June 2016.

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