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Passing of HAFF legislation will help Australia’s most vulnerable

Having been through a journey of discussion, debate and potential derailing, Urban Development Industry of Australia (UDIA) is pleased that the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) has finally passed the Parliament and the Federal Government can get on with the job of investing the funds in social and affordable housing.

The announcement made today by the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese means that the delivery of 30,000 affordable and social houses over the next five years is now a reality – a relief for those on long waiting lists for housing, anxiously awaiting the possibility of having a safe home in which to live.

“UDIA National welcomes the passing of the $10 billion (HAFF) having long expressed our support for the bill, and the need for a flexible, market nimble, investment framework with all housing providers working together to combat the chronic shortage of Affordable Housing in Australia,” said Max Shifman, UDIA National President.

The bill will include an earlier review date of 2026 instead of 2029 and the addition of a minimum $500 million spend on affordable and social housing each year. It follows the government committing to a further $1 billion funding to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to support new homes.

The Government’s plans include a firm target to deliver 1.2 million homes over five years which will need to harness the combined capability of community housing and private housing providers to make it work see graph below:

“We should not kid ourselves about the ambition of this housing target because it means we need to deliver an average of 240,000 houses a year when our greatest productivity in the last five years delivered an average of 195,000 dwellings,” said Mr Shifman.

Today’s ABS population growth figures only add to the need for the delivery of housing across the continuum.  Australia’s population grew by 563,205 persons in the 12 months to March 2023. This is highest annual growth volume in the last two decades, placing even more impost on the industry to deliver sufficient housing.

Source UDIA, ABS

“30,000 affordable and social houses is only the tip of the iceberg if Government’s plans are to succeed and we need to be pressing forward with strategies to accelerate the release of development ready land including streamlining planning and boosting enabling infrastructure,” he said.

UDIA National looks forward to working closely with federal state and territory government to enable us to get on with the job of delivering housing for all Australians.