Housing construction is crucial to COVID-19 recovery


Labor has called for a National Housing Stimulus Plan as the nation emerges from the COVID 19 pandemic.

The pipeline of work in the housing construction industry is drying up and will result in a sharp decline in work for lots of tradespeople and small and family businesses – unless action is taken. 

This should include governments working with the private sector and superannuation funds to invest in more social and affordable housing and repair existing social housing. 

This can happen quickly.  It will keep a lot of tradespeople on the tools, help those in need, and help the economy recover. 

A specific program, to help the true heroes of this crisis; nurses, cleaners, aged care workers, supermarket workers, bus drivers, and other front-line workers, should also be developed.

The sort of people who can’t work from home.  Who don’t get paid very much and often have to travel a long way to get to work. 

Around the country governments and super funds are already building some affordable rental accommodation for key workers – close to where they work.  But a lot more can be done.

We need a plan that creates jobs for tradies and more affordable housing for these heroes.

The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear just how important housing is. 

We often think about our home as our castle.  Over the past two months they have been a fortress.  They have helped shield us and protect us. 

Before the COVID-19 hit a lot of Australians were struggling to buy and rent a home: 

  • Home ownership rates were at their lowest level in 60 years
  • Rental stress was through the roof, and
  • The last Census revealed more Australians were homeless than ever before 

While housing has been key to this health crisis – it can also be a key part of economic recovery.

In times of economic shock, housing construction has played a vital role in national economic recovery.

Now is the time to act.  The housing industry and unions have come together to call for action from the Government and National Cabinet.

160,000 new homes were expected to be built this year.

That number is now predicted to be only 100,000. There are almost 1 million Australians who work in jobs related to housing construction.

We can’t afford as Australia goes back to work, for lots of tradies to be out of work.  Our economy won’t snap back if many of these small family businesses snap.

TUESDAY, 12 MAY, 2020