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eTradesman.com.au - Australia's Online Tradesman Directory

Tradesman NEWS - Senate Confirms Need For Action on Affordability

The release of the Senate Select Committee on Housing Affordability in Australia has provided bipartisan support to address the decline in housing affordability. HIA’s Chief Executive - Policy, Chris Lamont said, the report provides recognition of the need to tackle supply constraints and the disproportionately high level of taxation on housing, particularly new housing. The report makes a number of recommendations. These include proposals to review the operation of the first home owners grant, need for planning reform, a taxation review and a proposal for the housing supply council to monitor Australia’s immigration flows in respect to housing demand. “A more targeted first home owners grant could assist with the supply side. First home buyers would be in part compensated for the cost of GST applied to new homes and would receive the grant for adding to Australia’s housing stock. The balance of the funds currently should be used to fund infrastructure necessary to support new residential development,” said Chris Lamont. HIA is concerned, however, with recommendations in the report that call for consideration of inclusionary zoning, additional accessibility requirements and the abolition of negative gearing. “If you want to see rent increases in the order of 20 per cent each year then the abolition of negative gearing is something you would call for. Similarly references to inclusionary zoning and additional accessibility regulation are bizarre inclusions in an affordability assessment,” Chris Lamont said. HIA has for some time expressed concerns with inclusionary zoning which is nothing more than a measure that robs ‘Peter to pay Paul’. Similarly, recommendations in respect to accessibility ignore the fact that the disabled and the elderly have specific needs that need to be assessed on an individual basis. “There appears to be support from all sides of the Senate for the Government’s supply related housing programs. Going forward it is clear that government investment (at all levels) in infrastructure necessary to support new development and a review of Commonwealth-State financial relations is a longer-term cure for affordability woes,” Chris Lamont said. View this Tradesman NEWS article here.<-a> Source: HIA eTradesman.com.au - Australia's #1 Tradesman Directory<-i>
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