A- A A+

Public housing in crisis as available stock dwindles

Kelly Hughes  |  28 March 2017  |  News


A report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute revealed Australia’s public housing supply decreased by 4.1 per cent in the last fifteen years despite a surge in demand.

Australian government bodies like Government Property NSW have privatised the sale of public housing stock, auctioning off more than $1 billion worth of property since 2011.

Soaring house prices, record low interest rates, strong population growth and tax incentives for investors, like negative gearing means low-income Australians are being pushed to the outer fringes, said former Adelaide University Economics lecturer, Dr. Tom Sheridan.

“The government is battling against income and expenditure and see it purely as an ideological decision,” he said.

He said despite pulling out of public housing stock, the state government is not offsetting the losses or offering support services for those in need.

Those on high priority public housing lists include women and children fleeing domestic violence and people living below the poverty line.  

The Australian Council of Social Service released a Poverty In Australia Report for 2016, which estimates 2.9 million Australians are living below the poverty line.

Three decades ago in 1986, the number of people waiting for public housing in Australia was 39,600. In 1992 that number shot up by 5.8 per cent to 41, 892.

A report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, revealed more than 250,000 Australians are currently waiting for public housing dwellings, with numbers forecasted to increase.

The increase in privitisation is weakening the safety net for disadvantaged Australians.

Earlier this week, residents of Ashburton, an affluent suburb in Melbourne, took to the streets to protest over the Victorian Labor Government’s plan to sell off public housing land from the Markham Estate to private developers.

The Andrews government has sold off 70 per cent of the land to developers in 2015.

Despite the government building new public houses, the houses are much smaller and don’t meet the growing demand for public housing, said Jack Roach president of the Melbourne Boroondara Resident Action Group (BRAG), a grassroots organisation formed to prevent the privitisation of public housing.

“It’s a total con,” he said.

“The government says there will be a ten percent increase in public houses, but it’s a total con because there are less bedrooms and accommodation for the people.”

“Local residents are not against the provision of an increase in public housing on this site but their main concerns centre around the very large private housing component proposed and the total lack of public consultation.”

“It’s millions of dollars profit for the government, there’s a lot of money involved in the sale of private dwellings, and they’re flogging off the private sector.”

“The Victorian government is being dishonest by not consulting the community about the proposal. It’s public land and they should not be selling it off for profit,” he said.

He said he hopes the government will reconsider the proposal to assist the growing number of Australians in urgent need of public housing.

The Turnbull government announced earlier this week it will deliver a package to address the growing concerns for housing affordability in this year's May budget.

 



Similar articles from News

Cashless Card Extended, Despite Unhappy 49 Per cent

Sam Richards  | 3/30/2017

Ceduna residents on welfare will continue to receive 80 per cent of their payments on cashless cards, despite 49 per cent of recipients saying it makes their life worse.

The cashless card, also being trialled in WA, can’t be used to withdraw physical cash and can’t be used at outlets such as bottle shops or gambling houses.


Federal government picks fight with super industry

SMH | 3/29/2017

A fierce fight looks likely between the federal government and the $2 trillion superannuation industry over a plan to overhaul the default superannuation system.


Bronwyn Bishop rails against socialists while collecting a $250k pension from taxpayers

The Age  | 3/29/2017

Consider this: since Bronwyn Bishop finally left the federal Parliament nine months ago – kicking and screaming after being rolled by her own party – Australian taxpayers have paid her nearly $200,000.


Markets may regret not giving a damn about Article 50

AFR | 3/29/2017

For European politicians, desperate to downplay the impact of Britain's breach with the single market, the market reaction could not have been more satisfactory.



Turnbull government warns Fair Work Commission against 'excessive' minimum wage rise

The Age  | 3/29/2017

The Turnbull government has urged the Fair Work Commission to take a cautious approach to raising the minimum wage, warning an "excessive" pay rise could imperil job creation in a changing economy.


 

Subscribe

Subscribe to the Personal Super Investor weekly email to keep abreast of developments in SMSF law and investment markets. SMSF investors looking to improve investment returns from shares, property, cash or other specialised investments, will find the PSI weekly newsletter an invaluable resource.

Subscribe now »

Disclaimer

The contents of this website are of a general nature only and have not been prepared to take into account any particular investor's objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Our content is not intended to be advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should seek independent advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any decisions. Personal Super Investor does not provide financial product advice or recommend any financial products: Where this website or it derived newsletter/electronic publication refers to a particular financial product, whether it be within our editorial or a 3rd party advertising, advertising promotion or advertorial, then you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. We also recommend that you should seek professional advice from a financial adviser before making any decision to purchase any financial product referred to on this website. We do not make any representation or warranty that any material on the Personal Super Investor website will be reliable, accurate or complete, nor do we accept any responsibility arising in any way from errors or omissions of our content or any content provided by any advertiser appearing the Personal Super Investor website. We will not be liable for loss resulting from any action or decision by you in reliance on the Material (whether editorial or advertising) on the Personal Super Investor website, nor any interruption, delay in operation or transmission, virus, communications failure, Internet access difficulties, or malfunction in your equipment or software. By using the site you acknowledge that we are not responsible for, and accept no liability in relation to any content contained on the site that you may use, including any other users’ use of the Personal Super Investor website in any circumstance. You use the Personal Super Investor website at your sole risk.