FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 20/05/2022
On the eve of the Federal Election, the Renters and Housing Union reaffirms our demand for a National Housing Policy which addresses the current housing crisis.
RAHU reaffirms the need for a Federal Government to:
- Invest in improving and expanding public housing
- Develop a national policy to increase rental protections
- Regulate the rental market and real estate industry
Throughout this election campaign, the major parties have consistently dismissed the needs of our communities. RAHU demands that the federal government develop and implement a National Housing Policy which regulates the rental market by assigning rental prices according to wage growth and CPI. Public housing must urgently be funded for large scale development to meet current and projected demands, alongside tax reform disincentivising development and large scale landlordism. Housing must cease to be an investment opportunity and exist to shelter people, first and foremost.
These demands have been ignored by the major parties in their pre-election campaigning. Having made no mention of housing in their initial budget announcement, the Coalition has made a last minute attempt to address housing with their controversial superannuation scheme for first home buyers. Additionally, the funding committed to First Home Owner Grant schemes and the National Housing Finance and Investment Corp (NFHIC) will exacerbate the housing bubble and reinforce widespread inequality in access to safe and secure housing.
The ALP has promised $10 billion to the Housing Australia Future Fund, in which investment returns will be transferred to the aforementioned NFHIC, a newly formed corporation headed by large-scale developers and landlords. Rather than committing funding to directly expanding public housing, The ALP’s housing policy is dependent on investment gains made by privately owned social housing developers. Having back-pedalled on its commitment to review raising Centrelink rates above the Henderson poverty line, as well as its promise to reform negative gearing, the Labor Party has also broadly ignored the housing crisis this election.
RAHU urges voters to demand real action on the housing crisis at tomorrow’s election. Regardless of the outcome, we will continue to organise collectively in our communities to protect renters and people in insecure housing throughout the country. Our members don’t wait for government support, they act in solidarity with their neighbours to nurture strong communities. We will continue to oppose the major parties’ housing policies until they stop robbing our communities of the dignity they deserve.
Quotes attributable to Eirene Tsolidis Noyce, RAHU Secretary:
The truth is that the whole economy is built on a housing bubble. It’s lazy and negligent to reject housing policy that appreciates the unaffordability of both renting and buying shelter in this country. We want to address the housing crisis and we have a huge fight on our hands. We need to adopt a national housing policy which regulates the rental market by tying rental prices to wage growth and CPI.
All levels of government must commit to funding public housing which will meet current and projected housing demands. This will disincentivise the predatory, corporate landlordism which is at the core of the current housing crisis.
Quotes attributable to Ellise Bourne, RAHU Media & Communications Officer:
We need to see a change, not only in policy on a national level, but in the culture of housing in this country.
RAHU members demand that landlords and real estate agents engage with renters in good faith, especially those who are in crisis. We want safe, secure and accessible housing for people, not for profiteers.
Media contact: Ellise Bourne 0468 474 526 or email [email protected]
The Renters and Housing Union (VIC) is a member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing, formed out of the rent strike as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. We collectively organise for the right to safe and secure housing through self-advocacy, education, and frontline eviction defence.
Find out more and join RAHU https://rahu.org.au/