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Senate inquiry delivers housing affordability answers

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 8 May 2015

A Senate Inquiry has today tabled its timely report on the housing affordability and homelessness crisis facing Australia, making a range of practical proposals for making housing more affordable.

Australian Greens deputy leader Senator Scott Ludlam participated in the Senate Economics References Committee report into Affordable Housing.

"This is an evidence-based, substantive report that clearly sets out the reality that we have the tools at hand to deal with the housing affordability crisis," Senator Ludlam said today.

"A highlight of this inquiry was the attendance in Perth of people experiencing homelessness, who were able to share their message and experiences directly with the committee. I am proud to see that their work and contribution have been recognised. Among other things, they want Centrelink to be a one stop shop assisting people experiencing the risks of homelessness with referral and in-house expertise to link people with services and housing.

"The committee is calling for the immediate re-establishment of a position of Minister for Housing and Homelessness, and for the federal government to develop and deliver a national housing affordability plan.

"The inquiry provided an opportunity for three peak bodies axed by the Abbott Government: National Shelter, Homelessness Australia and Community Housing Federation of Australia, to provide submissions. The report recommends the reinstatement of a range of programs and measures cut in the 2014 budget. Treasurer Joe Hockey must address the damage done in his last budget when he has another try on Tuesday night.

"The committee has called for an inquiry into the costs and impacts of negative gearing, particularly on renters, including the option of phasing it out. The Abbott Government should consider this as part of a sensible discussion of Australia's tax system.

"There is a recommendation to explore the jobs and innovation potential of the prefabricated construction industry, which could support the affordable housing, construction, manufacturing and sustainable timber sectors.

"Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and their colleagues need to actually read this report and then immediately moving to address this crisis. An essential start will be reversing the half billion dollars in cuts that were made in last year's budget," Senator Ludlam concluded.

Further information about the inquiry is available at the APH Website.


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