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Greens call for action on housing and rental affordability crisis

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 30 Apr 2015

The Australian Greens have called for the federal government to reverse half a billion dollars of cuts to housing affordability and homelessness services and rethink its blinkered opposition to reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions that have artificially inflated property prices.

Anglicare's National Rental Affordability Snapshot for 2015 was released today, showing a severe rental affordability crisis for Australians on low and fixed incomes or income support payments.

"Anglicare have again confirmed the dire circumstances that Australian renters face, with significant amounts of unmet need. Only a minute percentage of dwellings are accessible to those on the minimum wage and government payments," Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens housing spokesperson said today.

"Too many people, including those working a minimum wage job, receiving income support and dealing with issues such as domestic violence are being left behind - this government is fundamentally failing them.

"Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are treating renters like second class citizens. How is it acceptable in a modern country such as ours, on the back of a boom, that zero percent of rental housing in our cities is affordable to people on the lowest incomes?

"In 2014, over half a billion dollars was slashed from programs that were addressing Australia's housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

"We strongly support the call by Anglicare for a national housing plan, and urge Treasurer Hockey to immediately reverse cuts he made in his first budget, starting with the 12,000 new affordable rental properties that would have been built this year under the NRAS program.

"The government needs to engage meaningfully with proposals for reforming perverse tax loopholes that have artificially inflated property prices and represent billions in handouts that should be used to create supply, not demand," Senator Ludlam concluded.


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