The COVID-19 crisis has made it very clear just how important housing is.
Our home is not just our castle. At the moment it is our fortress.
Anglicare Australia’s annual Rental Affordability Report released today also exposes just how unaffordable housing is in Australia and the need for more action at a national level.
The report shows that the lack of social and public housing combined with the low rate of unemployment benefits has put hundreds of thousands of Australians in financial stress and forced a lot of people into homelessness.
The introduction of the temporary coronavirus supplement has helped low income earners pay their rent, keep food on the table and put petrol in the car, but when this supplement ends the reality is very bleak for many families that rely on government support.
Labor supports a permanent increase to the JobSeeker payment when the Coronavirus Supplement ends, to reduce poverty and ensure people can afford the clothes, transport, housing, trading and basics they need to get work.
Housing is not just key to this health crisis – it is also going to be key to economic recovery.
A massive drop in the construction of new homes is likely in the months ahead due to the COVID-19 crisis and this could lead to hundreds of thousands of tradespeople losing their jobs.
Labor calls on the Government and the National Cabinet to urgently develop a plan to stop this happening.
This could include:
• Repair and maintain existing social housing.
• Incentivising new builds in the housing sector.
• Encouraging apprentices and apprenticeships.
THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 2020