The Comeback of National Housing Policy in Australia: First Reflections
Following election of a new national government in November 2007, Australian housing policy is undergoing major reform under the leadership of the first dedicated national Housing Minister since 1996. A new intergovernmental agreement to frame future housing policy and drive major reform of social housing commenced in 2009. The Australian Government has also embarked on a variety of major housing initiatives that include: offering subsidies to private investors in new affordable rental housing; subsidising costs of residential development where savings are passed to homebuyers; and national partnership agreements, which incorporate targets to improve housing in remote Indigenous communities and to significantly reduce homelessness. As well, investments in additional social housing and cash assistance to first homebuyers have featured strongly in economic stimulus packages that are designed to offset domestic impacts of the global financial crisis. An increase of over 220 per cent in national government expenditure on housing over the period 2008/09 to 2011/12 indicates the magnitude of change. This paper documents Australia's new policy settings and examines the reform directions critically in the context of the ongoing debate in the housing literature about the role of national housing policy in increasing the supply of affordable and appropriate housing, economic development, wealth creation and social welfare.
Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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