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HAFF delay creates a no-win outcome for Australia.

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National is very disappointed that the Senate has voted to postpone the debate on the Federal Government’s landmark Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) legislation until October 16th and urges the Australian political leadership to get on with the job of incentivising housing supply and affordable housing.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Senate did not pass the HAFF and instead elected to “kick the can down the road” causing further delay at a time when Australians are struggling with a chronic lack of housing and increasing cost of living pressures. No one wins with this strategy and we are starting to run out of options,” said Max Shifman, UDIA National President.

While the Senate’s vote to delay allows them to consider Government’s proposed discussions with National Cabinet on rental reform, the world does not stop turning and every month the HAFF is delayed pushes back the targeted supply by an additional 500 homes.

“We need measures that boost housing supply now, because in the last year alone, the housing market shortfall across the board has gone backwards by 21,260 for at-market houses and an eye watering 45,000 affordable and social dwellings.”

The Senate has simply ensured that this housing crisis is going to get much, much worse before it gets better. Chronic unaffordability will continue to relentlessly grind away the housing dreams of ordinary Australians, unless we get back to basics and start implementing supply boosting measures and streamline planning approvals across the housing spectrum.”

In the absence of the HAFF, even simple changes like setting housing targets and streamlining approvals for enabling infrastructure or construction (largely no cost measures), result in real dollar upticks in productivity and housing supply.

The Federal Government has a vital role to play. Housing and streamlining targets can still be incentivised under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) or the Accord to help States and Territories drive infrastructure and housing supply. Existing funding can be used including the Accord, the $1.6bn NHHA, or even the untied circa $2.9bn Financial Assistance to Local Government Grant for local priorities (FALGG).

“UDIA National has recognised the impending crisis and is developing a robust Development Ready Land Pipeline metric that enables Government to identify, manage and resolve housing supply barriers.”

UDIA National looks forward to working with Government to re-invigorate the housing supply agenda across the spectrum.