It was a lean year for housing at the federal level so it’s good to see some movements in the states and territories, particularly in NSW with Greens MP Jenny Leong's work on state tenancy laws.
The federal government has continued to protect the interests of the property sector by failing to real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing, and leaving unfair investor tax breaks in place. We expect no changes in MYEFO on Monday.
First Home Super Saver Scheme
Passed despite ALP and Greens opposition. You can read Lee’s speech here.
Foreign vacancy levy
Passed with Greens support. But as Lee noted in her speech, it will do next to nothing. If the government were serious about vacancies, they would have applied a levy to domestic investors, too.
New social housing and homelessness agreement
The Senate now has an inquiry underway and is due to report by 6 February. All stakeholders have been encouraged to make submissions and if people here have comment please feel free to get in touch.
Motions passed in 2017
Treating housing as a human right.
Ensuring that no building materials containing asbestos are used in Australia.
National minimum standards for tenancy laws.
Congratulating community-run homelessness initiatives.
Increase real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing.
Ending punitive approaches to homelessness and focus on long-term accommodation.
Ensuring the specific needs of older people in housing are addressed in Commonwealth programs.
Homelessness report for 2016-17
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released their report showing homelessness remains at crisis levels. Each day 261 requests for housing assistance were unable to be met by services. Jenny and Lee’s press release is here.