The Guardian • Issue #2046

Budget must tackle housing crisis

Everybody’s Home

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2046

Public housing, Pagewood, Sydney. Photo: Public Housing – (CC BY 3.0)

Housing campaign Everybody’s Home says renters on the lowest incomes will still struggle to make ends meet with the federal government’s meagre rise in Centrelink payments and Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

Launching its pre-budget submission, Everybody’s Home has called on the government to:

  • Build at least 25,000 social homes each year for 20 years;
  • End tax handouts for landlords, saving billions for social homes and renters in need;
  • Boost funding for homelessness services;
  • Raise the rate of Centrelink payments;
  • helping renters on the lowest incomes.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize implored the government to address the national housing crisis in the budget.

“Australians are in a housing emergency. They are paying the price for a broken system that is getting worse every year.

“Rents are sky high, vacancies are tight, and renters are foregoing the basics just to continue having a home. There’s no respite in sight without government action.

“But instead of helping Australians in need, the government is spending billions each year on tax handouts to landlords – a fraction of what they spend helping renters in need.

“This week’s updates to payments like JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance are nowhere near keeping up with rent hikes. In real terms, those payments are going down.

“We’re backing calls to raise the rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments over the poverty line, so everyone can keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

“We also call on the government to end the tax handouts for landlords in its next Budget. That would free up billions to build more social homes.

“Australia has a shortfall of 500,000 social homes and no plan for how to fix it. The next Budget must commit to build 25,000 new social homes every year to end that shortfall.

“If the government is serious about housing affordability, it must put its money where its mouth is and take action.”

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