‘Investor handouts’ making housing crisis worse: report

Australia should spend more on social housing and less on investor tax breaks, a report has found.

Australia should spend more on social housing and less on investor tax breaks, a report has found. Photo: AAP

A national campaign to fix Australia’s housing crisis is urging the federal government to scrap tax concessions for property investors and fund more social dwellings.

The call follows Everybody’s Home’s Written Off report showing housing affordability has crashed due to private market subsidies taking precedence over directly building accommodation.

The report shows the federal budget is expected to lose almost a quarter of a trillion dollars to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions between 2010-33.

It argues investor tax breaks over the next decade could build more than half a million social homes, and have outstripped spending on social housing by at least five times.

Further highlighting the disparity, the report says government spent about $164 per person on public and community housing in 1982. By 2022, the number had shrunk to $61.

“In the midst of a major cost-of-living crisis, the federal government is spending record amounts on housing to line the pockets of investors,” campaign spokeswoman Maiy Azize said.

“That has made renting and buying homes more expensive than ever.

“Tax handouts for investors will be a quarter of a trillion dollar mistake if the government doesn’t change tack.”

Research by property data group CoreLogic reveals rents increased 8.3 per cent in 2023, outstripping an 8.1 per cent rise in house prices and eclipsing a four per cent rise in wages.

The federal government has promised to reinvigorate the sluggish home-building sector, pledging to deliver 1.2 million new dwellings over five years.

A major piece in the housing puzzle was set in place last week, with applications opening for the government’s Housing Australia Future Fund.

Housing Minister Julie Collins said the fund, along with the National Housing Accord, would deliver 40,000 social and affordable rentals in its first five years.

Over the longer-term, Written Off argues Australia should aim for a target of at least 10 per cent of all housing stock to be social housing.


Topics: Housing, Tax
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