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Release of Rental Affordability Index – urgent national housing strategy needed

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 23 Nov 2016

The latest Rental Affordability Index, released today, is bleak news for renters and home buyers. It reports Sydney is the most unaffordable city for renters, and Melbourne’s rental affordability is decreasing. 

“In Sydney, average renting households need to spend nearly 28 per cent of their total income on rent. This is unacceptable,” Greens spokesperson for housing Senator Rhiannon said. 

“Taxing empty homes could be one feature of a whole suite of measures to tackle this country’s housing affordability crisis, including negative gearing and capital gains tax changes.

“What is clear is that action needs to be taken – not just at the state level as the Turnbull government would have us believe, but at every level of government. 

“It is a disgrace that there is no federal ministerial portfolio, and no national strategy to tackle housing affordability.

“Recently I asked a simple question of the government – has the Turnbull government got any policies or ideas at the federal level to tackle housing affordability. They took the question on notice because they do not.  

“The tax system is fuelling the housing price surge and unless we change our economic settings, and unless the Turnbull government abandons their voodoo trickle-down economics, we will continue to see inequality increase.

“The Turnbull government has done everything it can to avoid confronting the issue of negative gearing and capital gains tax, but that issue is not going away. And if rental prices continue to rise, even households on average incomes will find housing far less affordable. 

“The Greens want to see a new national minimum standard for rental tenancies, to make them not only more affordable but also safer, more efficient and more liveable,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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