Government presses for planning and zoning changes

Introducing the legislation to set up the housing future fund on Thursday, Housing Minister Julie Collins acknowledged the escalating problems in Australia’s housing system.

“For ordinary Australians, housing problems are now widespread and visible to all of us. And across our country cities and towns, the dream of a secure home has become so much harder,” she told parliament.

“Home is the foundation from which we build our lives. Without a stable home, people no matter their age, struggle to live in good health, stay in training or education, and find or keep a job. It’s not good for them or their family.”


Interest earned on the fund will be channelled into the government’s housing agenda.

Up to $500 million a year will be used to build social and affordable homes, repair and maintain housing in remote Indigenous communities, provide transition housing options for women and children leaving domestic violence, and fund specialist services for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Collins said of the 30,000 homes to be funded under the scheme, 20,000 would be social housing, of which 4000 would go to women and children leaving domestic violence or older women on low incomes at risk of homelessness.

Another 10,000 affordable homes are planned for essential workers such as police, nurses and cleaners.


The housing future fund will be managed by the Future Fund’s board of guardians. It will be subject to a review in five years.

“The $10 billion fund is a significant investment to deliver long-term returns to support more social and affordable housing, and invest in acute housing needs,” Collins said.

Greens housing spokesman Max Chandler-Mather said the government’s investment would not go far enough towards meeting the need for social and affordable housing, while independent senator David Pocock has expressed doubt the fund will be able to finance 30,000 homes.

Property Council chief executive Mike Zorbas said the future fund and the Housing Accord would go some way to reducing the nation’s housing issues.

“Our best hope of tackling the housing supply shortage is using the Housing Accord to incentivise national housing targets with local accountability,” he said.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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