Department of Social Services outlays minimum housing reform changes

Department of Social Services outlays minimum housing reform changes
Department of Social Services outlays minimum housing reform changes

Ensuring housing supply, dwellings that meet social and demographic demands and providing greater mobility across different tenure types are the minimum changes the Department of Social Services believes to be necessary should current housing policy be reformed.

Not seeking to outline any specific reforms, the Department of Social Services pointed out areas for improvement to the inquiry into home ownership.

"The Department does note that any future reforms should include a focus on improving the effectiveness of housing supply and the collaboration of jurisdictions with respect to the broader policy settings influencing the operation of Australia’s housing market. 

"In relation to improving housing supply, there are a number of avenues that could be explored. For example, in the context of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process there may be scope to examine the effectiveness of the NAHA in incentivising the states and territories to ensure housing supply is better able to respond to increases in housing demand. 

"With respect to better aligning the broader policy settings influencing housing supply and demand, this will require increased, and ongoing, collaboration by all levels of government. 

"Mechanisms to facilitate such collaboration may be looked at as part of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process, although increased informal collaboration may be just as effective as more formal mechanisms. 

"The roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and states and territories, in respect of housing assistance and homelessness services, are currently being examined as part of the Government’s Reform of the Federation White Paper process. 

"Potential reforms to the current roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the states and territories, around the provision of housing assistance and homelessness services, may improve the alignment of current incentives in relation to housing demand and supply.  

"However, this process is unlikely to materially impact the broader policy responsibilities of either level of government in terms of their impact on housing supply and demand. 

"There have been over 25 inquiries and significant reports related to housing policy and planning since the last National Housing Strategy was completed in 1991. 

"The most comprehensive of these reports were the Productivity Commission’s Review into First Home Ownership in 2004, the 2008 Senate Inquiry on Housing Affordability in Australia, the Australia’s Future Tax System Review in 2010 and the 2015 Senate Inquiry into Affordable Housing.

"However, housing affordability, and with it the level of home ownership, across Australia, has continued to fall over this period notwithstanding the recommendations and findings of these reviews. 

"The limited impact of previous reviews underscores the proposition that, without reforms to existing structural policy settings, the current issues with housing affordability will not recede, and indeed are more likely to intensify given the current low interest rate environment. 

"This will likely lead to an increase in the number of Australians being excluded from owning their own home, which is likely to put further pressure on the private rental market and in turn community and public housing and CRA [Commonwealth Rent Assistance]." 

Tags: 
Housing Affordability Housing Reform

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