The Government has had eight long years to fix the problems of housing affordability on the Coast and it’s just gotten worse.
It’s harder to rent than ever before, it’s harder to buy than ever before and there are more and more people couch surfing or living in their cars.
That’s why I invited Jason Clare MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness back to the Coast in March to hear first-hand from locals about the growing housing crisis.
Vacancy rates are as low as 0.1 per cent in parts on the Coast and rents have climbed by over $100 a week in just the last few months. In some cases, tenants are paying $430 a week for a small studio apartment.
And, homelessness on the Coast is a growing but often hidden problem as women, families and young people couch surf or live in their cars. Last year 10,000 women and children across Australia were turned away from refuges because there wasn’t a bed.
Finding a safe place to live is even harder for the most vulnerable, including older women given the shortfall of 3,500 homes leading to an average wait time of ten years for social housing.
To fix these growing problems won’t be easy and it will require leadership from the federal government.
In this year’s budget, the Government missed a once in a generation opportunity to help renters and buyers and those living in housing stress or insecure housing on the Coast.
A future Labor Government will create the Housing Australia Future Fund to build affordable housing now and into the future in places like the Central Coast.
This will change lives and create jobs.
Over the first five years, the Housing Australia Future Fund will build 30,000 new social housing properties, including homes for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
The fund will build affordable homes for the heroes of the pandemic – frontline workers like police, nurses and cleaners that kept us safe.
Our housing plan is good for jobs too.
This plan will create over 21,500 full-time jobs each year.
And one in 10 construction jobs created will be for apprentices.
A plan that helps more Aussies buy a home, helps Australians who rent and helps put a roof over the head of more homeless Australians.
This is a Future Fund that will give more Australians a better future.