Labor pledges $2b extra for housing as bill stalls
States and territories are getting a boost to their social housing budgets. Photo: AAP
State and territory governments are set to receive a $2 billion boost in funding for social housing within the next two weeks.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will announce the Social Housing Accelerator at the Victorian Labor conference on Saturday.
The move comes as the Greens continue to block laws in the Senate to enable the government’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, calling for more ambitious spend and rent controls.
“When I met with premiers and chief ministers about this yesterday, they all committed to ensuring that investment in housing will work alongside better planning laws, reforming zoning and freeing-up more land for new builds,” Mr Albanese will tell the conference.
“That’s what this is about: real dollars, driving real change and building more homes.
“And our government is not going to wait around while members of the Greens political party call for more housing in the media while opposing it in their electorates and voting against it in the parliament.”
Demand for social housing has increased almost three times as fast as the growth in population.
“The Greens have blocked more houses than they’ve ever built,” Mr Albanese will say.
“But we are a party of government – and we know Australians deserve the respect of practical action.”
Rallying the Labor faithful, Mr Albanese will describe the federal Liberals – who also oppose the housing fund – as “basically a doomsday cult”.
“For them, every day is the end of days. These are the people who said energy bill relief for families and businesses was ‘Venezuelan communism’.”
The Greens say a rent freeze is needed to tackle the rising cost of housing.
But state leaders have ruled out taking any action, arguing it would reduce the flow of supply and investment.
However, the states and territories have committed to working with Mr Albanese on improving renters’ rights, delivering on a 20,000-dwelling national housing accord, and progressing a new national housing and homelessness plan.
The prime minister also raised the issue of housing supply and affordability with local government leaders in Canberra on Friday.