Budget must include funding for social housing


If the Morrison Government is serious about stopping the housing construction industry from going off a cliff and saving tradies jobs, the Budget must include funding for social housing.
The Government’s refusal to do this is just bloody-minded.
It’s not just Labor saying this is needed to save tradies jobs.  The construction industry itself is saying this is needed.
The Master Builders Association and the Property Council have both called for this.  So have building product companies like CSR.
It’s not good enough for the Morrison Government to just say this is the job of the States.  It’s not.  Federal and State Government’s both fund social housing. 
In the last few months State Governments across the country have committed more than $1 billion in extra funding to build and repair social housing.  The Federal Government needs to help out to.
Doing this would be a win-win.  It will provide work for thousands of tradies and put a roof over the head of Australians who desperately need it.
Reports today that the Government is planning to expand the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme are welcome.  We have been calling on the Government to do this for months.  They could do it right now.
Reports that the Government is also planning improvements to the operation of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility are also positive.  In Senate Estimates and in House of Representatives Question Time it has been revealed that so far only $200,000 had been spent on “capacity building activities”.
It is also likely that the Government will have to extend the HomeBuilder Scheme. 
The Scheme was announced two months ago.  Applications are supposed to close in less than five months – and most Australians still can’t even apply.
Organisations calling for extra investment in social housing include: