On 5 September, I asked the Prime Minister to adopt our policy of a national rent freeze and interest rate pause to intervene in the housing crisis.
CHANDLER-MATHER: My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, there are almost two million households in mortgage stress and 2.7 million Australians in rental stress, with one million of those paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent. Many are one rental increase away from eviction or homelessness. Prime Minister, will you put aside your own status as a landlord and put the Greens' proposal for a two-year rent freeze and an interest rate pause on the agenda for the next meeting of the National Cabinet?
Mr ALBANESE: I thank the member for his question. I am very pleased that I'm back in public housing. It's got to be said: it's a lot better than my first public house! But the fact is that a range of people are certainly under housing affordability stress. They're finding it difficult to get into the housing market and finding it difficult to pay the rent and pay the bills. That's why we have a Housing Australia Future Fund, because we recognise what we need to do is have a comprehensive plan to deal with housing issues in this country. We have our Housing Australia Future Fund that will create 30,000 additional social housing units. Indeed, on Thursday and Friday at the summit, one of the initiatives was to use the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to encourage investment in affordable housing from the private sector and from superannuation funds. This is a fund of some $575 million. We will hope to leverage that fund in order to attract investment from those—including the superannuation sector—who are looking for those long-term returns. That is why it makes sense to use that facility. And it's another initiative.
On top of that, we have our $100 million, additional, that we will put into emergency housing. We know that too many people get turned away from emergency housing, particularly victims of family violence; too many women and children are turned away each and every day.
So we'll take these policies seriously. I'd say to the Greens political party that they could do a lot better if they could point to one area, in one time, in my constituency or others, in which they actually supported an affordable housing strategy, in which they supported the sorts of plans that have been put in place with the cooperation of the private sector and the public sector, particularly local government. And that would be a good thing.
I'd welcome his support in the Inner West Council, but in others as well where Greens representatives have consistently voted against projects like the project right next to Marrickville Station, where they said, 'We couldn't have medium density housing there,' and voted against the project—even though it would give people in affordable housing an opportunity to get to work right from that train line at Marrickville.