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Older Women at Risk Of Homelessness – Key Target of Labor’s Affordable Housing Policy

Source: Susan Templeman MP, Member For Macquarie
Archived 18 Feb 2019 - Posted: 19 Dec 2018
Labor has listened to concerns raised at the Hawkesbury Older Women in Homelessness Forum, announcing Australia's largest ever housing affordability policy, with older women a key target.

Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman said Labor's ten-year national plan to build 250,000 houses meant that:

  • housing will be available to those at risk of falling through the gap, including women who have been the victims of family violence or older women who are at risk of homelessness;
  • lower income families will be assisted to create stable homes; and
  • key workers like nurses, police and teachers will be able to live closer to where they work

"This is the largest affordable housing policy ever," Ms Templeman said.  "It will offer 15 year subsidies - $8500 per year - to investors who build new houses - conditional on them being rented at 20 per cent below market rent.

"Support for 250,000 new units and houses will be available - with 20,000 new units and houses estimated to be built in the first term of a Shorten Labor Government.

"It addresses the key issue of homelessness among older women, which was the focus of our Housing forum held earlier this year with guest speaker, Senator Doug Cameron.

"Women over the age of 55 are now among the most at-risk groups for homelessness in our community.

"This policy will make it much easier for them to find an affordable home to rent if they find themselves homeless after leading what most would consider a 'normal' life," she said.

"It is an issue I've been very passionate about here in the Hawkesbury, and I am so pleased this issue has been made a priority by Labor."

Ms Templeman said Labor’s Housing Affordability Policy will have wide reaching benefits for many people living in the Hawkesbury,” she said.

"People paying the national rental average of $462 a week could save $92 a week under the plan.

"The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has estimated that there is a shortfall of more than 525,000 affordable rental properties in Australia.

"Labor's plan will provide investors with certainty to build - knowing that they will have long term government support and guarantees beyond the decade. The existing rental scheme - the National Rental Affordability Scheme - has attracted private investment of approximately $12.9 billion to deliver 37,000 affordable rental dwellings in the ten years since 2008.

"Despite this success, the Liberals have abandoned affordable housing and axed the subsidies that encourage affordable housing."

Labor's plan will deliver affordable, environmentally sustainable housing that help to reduce energy consumption and cost of living pressures on Australian families. Overseas students, temporary foreign workers, other non-residents will not be eligible tenants.

Labor will work with community housing providers, the residential construction sector and institutional investors to generate economic growth and new construction jobs. The plan will support Labor's negative gearing reforms which direct concessions to newly built premises and encourage housing construction.

Consistent with Labor's commitment on major infrastructure projects, one in ten jobs during construction and maintenance of properties will go to an Australian apprentice.

Labor's policy has been costed independently by the Parliamentary Budget Office and will have an impact of $102 million over the forward estimates (to 2021-22), and $6.6 billion over the decade to 2028-29.

This article archived 18 Feb 2019

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