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Question on social housing shortfall

On 3 August, I asked the Prime Minister about the inadequacy of the Government's social housing plans.

Mr CHANDLER-MATHER: My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, you often speak about the role of public housing in your life.

The SPEAKER: The member for Griffith will resume his seat. The member for Cowper.

Mr Conaghan: Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to the state of undress of the member.

The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Resume your seat.

Honourable members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order! I give the call to the member for Griffith. The member for Griffith will be heard in silence.

Mr CHANDLER-MATHER: Prime Minister, you often speak about the role of public housing in your life. There are currently 162,500 households on the social housing waiting list around the country. Since 2018, that number has increased by 7,662 homes a year on average. Your Housing Australia Future Fund promises to build just 4,000 social homes a year for five years. Prime Minister, won't your policy see the waitlist grow, denying hundreds of thousands of people the same chance you had in your life?

Response from the Prime Minister:

Mr ALBANESE: I thank the member for Griffith for his question and I congratulate him on his election to this House. I indeed do understand the importance of having a secure roof over your head and what that can do for the opportunity to advance in life. I know it because I have lived it, and that is one of the reasons why we went to the election with a substantial program—our Housing Australia Future Fund, a $10 billion fund, the returns of which will be used to build around 30,000 social and affordable houses over the next five years. But we won't just do that. We'll also establish the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, which will work with state and local governments, importantly, to deliver increased housing, be it social housing or affordable housing, particularly through community housing organisations.

I know that the member's political party has substantial representation in local government, and I'd encourage him to encourage the Greens political party to back affordable housing rather than just oppose it. In my local area, when there have been programs in Marrickville, they've been opposed. I'm talking about the sorts of inclusive programs whereby councils can work with developers to get increased numbers of social housing units in return for an increase in size but one which then delivers that mix that you need as well.

One of the things we've learnt over the years—and various research has shown this—is that, when we look at increases in social housing, we need to make sure that we don't create pockets whereby there are areas people grow up in where they don't know and don't have role models for people who work, where you don't have a mix of incomes. Part of my vision for the country is one whereby you won't know what income people have from just looking at their postcode. I'm quite happy to work with the member on this issue, and to work across the parliament, because it is very important that we do that.

This is an issue that I've raised with state and territory governments. We have the next meeting of the National Cabinet tomorrow morning, and we will continue to work constructively. We know that pressures are on people, particularly renters, at the moment, and we want to look at ways in which we can improve housing affordability across the board. We also have the Help to Buy Scheme, the Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme and other programs. I would be pleased to work constructively with the— (Time expired)


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