The Australian Government is changing the way it allocates its housing funding to local councils.
The Government announced on Tuesday that local councils will now be given a “choice” of how much they are allowed to spend on housing projects that will be completed before July 1st, 2017.
The decision is part of a broader strategy that will allow the Government to spend more on housing, which is important for a country that has seen its population increase from 5.6 million to 7.6 billion people over the past decade.
The plan is also meant to allow councils to spend less on land acquisition, which could mean they could spend more to build affordable homes.
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says the Government’s move will have an impact on the affordability of new housing, as it will force councils to choose between maintaining existing housing stock and building new homes.
“There will be more homes that are affordable to households with incomes of below $70,000 and to those who do not have any incomes,” said Dr Anne-Marie O’Brien, president of ACOSS.
“But it’s going to be harder to afford that.”ACOSS’s Dr Andrew Goulston told FourFourSecond that while it was “great news”, he thought it would also “lead to increased pressures on social housing”.
“If we were to have a system where councils were given more money, they’re going to have more incentive to go into the property market and build more, and they’re more likely to be able to build the kind of homes that people need,” Dr Goulson said.
“It’s a very positive development for Australia’s housing market, and it’s a positive development in the sense that it will allow councils and developers to better plan for their own local communities.”ACOSO is concerned that some councils will be given “limited choice” on how much of the funding they can spend.
“In many areas, there will be limited choice as to what they can do, because there will not be any local government funding,” Dr O’Neill said.
She said that would have a significant impact on communities where the number of people living in social housing was low.
“That means there’s less opportunity for people who are homeless, because they’re not able to afford the cost of housing,” Dr D’Agostino said.ACOSS said the changes were “unnecessary and unfair”.
“In an ideal world, local councils would be able, in a very fair and balanced way, to invest in the communities that they serve,” Dr Hildebrand said.
“But the reality is that we don’t live in an ideal future.”‘
I can’t see what we’re going through’Community Housing Minister Scott Morrison said he had “no idea” how the Government planned to fund the new rules.
“I’m not in a position to give you a forecast of what’s going on,” he told FourFiveSecond.
“So, I just don’t know what’s happening.”
But ACOSS’s Mr O’Sullivan said the Government should do its own analysis to see how it could achieve its goal of “reforming” the housing market.
“The Australian Government has a responsibility to ensure that all of our communities are supported and the people in our communities who are not are supported equally,” he said.
The Minister said the funding changes were a “big step” but not enough.
“We can’t do it on our own.
We have to look at how the system works,” he added.