Pressure building to include social housing in stimulus

The Government has so far ruled out an increased investment in social housing (Bigstock)

The Federal Opposition and community housing sector are pushing the Morrison Government to include social housing in its stimulus measures. Source: The Age.

By Rob Harris, The Age

New modelling released yesterday by the Community Housing Industry Association and National Shelter found a four-year social house building program of 30,000 homes would create on average up to 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs each year.

Association chief executive Wendy Hayhurst said the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP) would not only deliver better homes to those in need but also secure jobs for thousands of Australians.

“The Federal Government has stated that we have to maintain a laser-like focus on jobs to get Australia moving and this new modelling shows that SHARP does just that”.

“Whether it be new investment in social housing, or whether it be upgrades and renovations of social housing. And it should not be forgotten as part of a comprehensive package which is needed.”

It is estimated SHARP would raise output in Australia by at least $15.7 billion over the four years of construction and increase GDP by anywhere between $5.8 billion to $6.7 billion.

SGS Economics and Planning partner Terry Rawnsley, who led the modelling, said building homes had wide-reaching impact beyond on-site jobs and would call on services from equipment hire to waste removal.

“All this activity will have positive multiplier effects through local and regional economies, as construction and local supplier employees spend their newfound wages at local cafes, stores and even a weekend away,” Mr Rawnsley said.

The Government has so far ruled out an increased investment in social housing, instead leaving it to state governments, and focusing on a post-September commercial housing build when the industry says the current pipeline of projects will run dry.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the Government was “ignoring” support for community housing.

“Social housing is an investment that produces a return, of course, for government. Because it’s an asset,” Mr Albanese said.

FULL STORY

Social housing package proposed as government finalises new home grants (The Age

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