Senin, 12 Agustus 2013

Where do the parties stand on housing?

It's federal election time.

Now that you've made sure your enrolment is up-to-date, you might start to wonder what each of the parties have to say about housing. Indeed, if you're anything like us here at the Brown Couch, you'll be ravenous for details about how our next Australian Government will make sure good quality rental housing is available - and affordable - to everyone who needs it.


The sad news is, there's not a lot to report. So far, neither of the major parties has released a policy on housing.

That's not to say there aren't a few clues about what we might expect...

If you look very closely at the Liberal Party's document Our Plan For Real Action you'll see a paragraph (at the bottom of page 42) about improving housing affordability and supporting housing development. It says:
We will improve housing affordability and encourage high levels of home ownership. We will work closely with the States and Territories who have primary responsibility for housing to reduce red tape holding up the supply of housing and construction and to increase land release for new homes.
The Australian Labor Party, for its part, has a few words under the Labor is for Fairness page of the ALP website:
Labor has always had a proud record of helping to deliver affordable housing for Australians and their families. The goal of ensuring all Australians have access to affordable housing has continued with a massive increase in housing supply through both social housing and incentives for the private sector to keep building through the financial crisis.
(It then goes on to talk about all the things Labor is doing, or has done a few years ago, to increase the supply of housing during the crisis, and also makes a couple of points about homelessness)...
Of course, while the likelihood of the Australian Greens forming government is almost as remote as Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott simultaneously quitting politics, signing on for the NewStart allowance and taking up residence in an inner-Sydney share-house for the next parliamentary term, it's worth noting the Greens' somewhat ambitious policy designed to cut housing waiting lists in half.

We sincerely hope that both Labor and the Liberals announce new housing policies over the course of the election campaign. If and when they do, we'll have a look at how they might affect the significant rental markets in Sydney and New South Wales, and what they could mean for tenants.