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Multibillion-dollar boost to fast-track home building

The federal government is set to pour $11.3 billion into new housing initiatives Australia-wide.

The federal government is set to pour $11.3 billion into new housing initiatives Australia-wide. Photo: TND

Women and children fleeing domestic violence, the homeless and the young are set to benefit under a multibillion-dollar cash injection in the federal budget to build more homes and build them quicker.

The government will pour $11.3 billion into housing initiatives, with the backing of the premiers and chief ministers at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

About $1 billion will be directed towards crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence and young people.

Grants provided under the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to build these homes will increase from $175 million to $700 million.

The federal government will also invest $1 billion for the construction of roads, sewers, energy, water and community infrastructure needed for new homes and additional social housing supply.

Federal funding for homelessness services and social housing will double to $400 million a year and will be matched by the state and territories, with national cabinet also agreeing to a $9.3 billion, five-year national agreement on social house and homelessness.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the injection of cash would help kick-start construction on a national scale in order to meet Australia’s housing crisis.

“This isn’t about one suburb or one city or one state. It’s a challenge facing Australians everywhere and it needs action from every level of government,” Albanese said.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the substantial boost to housing would be a priority feature of Tuesday’s budget.

“To address this housing challenge, we need to boost supply,” he said.

The renewed housing investment comes as the federal government commits to working with higher education providers on rules requiring universities to increase the supply of student accommodation for domestic and international students.

This follows an earlier budget announcement of more than $90 million to boost the number of tradies and constructions workers, including the provision of an extra 20,000 fee-free TAFE places.

Education Minister Jason Clare reiterated the importance of the international education sector to the Australian economy.

“We need to ensure its ongoing sustainability and part of that means we need more purpose-built student accommodation,” he said.

The investment builds upon the more than $25 billion already slated by Labor over the next decade as it aims to build 1.2 million homes by the end of 2030.

-AAP

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