Turnbull Gov't announces boost to affordable housing

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A construction worker looks over the top of Queensland Terrace
A construction worker looks over the top of Queensland Terrace, which is being constructed for Barratt Homes, next to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in north London August 7, 2013. Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

The Turnbull Government on Tuesday announced a boost to social and affordable housing supply. The Big Issues’ Homes for Homes initiative is getting a $6 million investment.

Construction company Grocon has teamed up with social enterprise through a 75-apartment complex development in Melbourne’s north-east. Christian Porter, federal minister for social services, went on a site visit at Grocon’s Greenwich Fairfield development alongside Homes for Homes Chair Sonya Clancy and Grocon’s David Waldren.

Porter said the partnership between Grocon and The Big Issue was a good example of the Homes for Homes initiative, which also seeks to raise $2.4 billion to increase the supply of affordable housing. He said organisations and homeowners in property transactions contribute 0.1 percent of each sale to Homes for Homes when a property is sold.  The initiative also allows national property developers or individual homeowners to help those who do not have homes, Porter explained.

“Over the long term these donations, which is just $500 on a $500,000 property, will generate a significant pool of funding to be provided through Homes for Homes to community housing providers to build more social and affordable houses,” he added, according to a press release. The government funding for Homes for Homes intends to support the organisation with the capacity to build on its early successes by helping it obtain its goals, he added.

To help solve housing issues, the government, community sector and businesses can work together for one common goal. Sonya Clancy said property developers have a pipeline of over 10,000 properties committed to the scheme. Over 30 years, $2.4 billion for Homes for Homes is expected to be raised.

Porter said the development of alternative sources of capital for housing is essential to help homeless Australians or those not able to get access to safe and secure housing. He further stated that Homes for Homes does the initiative by tapping into private sector capital to fund new affordable and social housing, and that it has to be applauded for its new approach in dealing with this significant issue.

Homes for Homes is based on a US model developed by Lennar Corporation, one of the leading homebuilders in America. The organisation tailored it for the Aussie market. Meanwhile, RMIT Centre for Urban Research’s Ashton de Silva has commented about the rental property market, saying there has to be more security and guarantees from both landlord and tenant, news.com.au reports.

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