PM’s axe falls on housing affordability – another Turnbull failure

Friday, February 10, 2017 | Lee Rhiannon

One of the biggest failures of the Turnbull government is shaping up to be their inability to ensure all Australians have access to secure affordable housing, Greens housing spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said in response to reports that the National Housing Affordability Agreement will be scrapped in the May Budget.

“Winding up the $9 billion National Housing Affordability Agreement will push more people into homelessness and lock people out of secure housing,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“No amount of blame shifting to state and past federal governments by Prime Minister Turnbull can remove his direct responsibility for the worsening crisis.

“Homes for all should be a priority of all Prime Ministers.

“The 2017 Report on Government Services reveals that public housing stock has been falling since 2009 when NHAA was introduced.

“Also a commitment to reduce homelessness by seven per cent has not been achieved. The homeless rate has increased by 17 per cent.

“With $1.5 billion going to states each year to boost affordable housing it is now not clear where the money has been spent due to lack of transparency.

“This scheme could involve major misuse of public money. I plan to purse this in Budget Estimates scheduled for the end of February. We will then determine if the apparent mismanagement of NHAA should be referred to the Auditor General.

“The May budget should have a suite of measures to deal with the housing crisis that include an end to unfair tax structures that put investors ahead of prospective buyers looking for homes to live in.

“Innovative funding mechanisms are needed to increase the supply of public and community housing along with guaranteed proper funding of services for people who are homeless,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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