If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the critical importance of housing. While housing has been key to this health crisis – it’s also key to nation’s economic recovery.
But we didn’t come into this crisis in very good shape. We had a diabolical underinvestment in social and affordable housing.
In the private sector, rents and house prices have spiralled out of control leaving Australians struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
Shamefully, more Australians are now homeless than ever before.
But now, the future looks even more precarious.
The pipeline of construction activity is drying up, while more Australians are facing dire financial pressures than at any other time in living memory.
Historically, housing construction has played a vital role in recovery from economic shocks.
We need to increase housing supply – especially in social and affordable housing.
We need to repair existing social housing stock.
We need to boost construction activity.
And we need to protect jobs and drive local economic growth.
That’s why today Federal Labor called for a National Housing Stimulus Plan – to protect jobs, drive local economic activity and deliver on one of the most fundamental basic human rights – access to safe and secure housing for all our citizens.
The Federal Government desperately needs to take the lead and work with the private sector and superannuation funds to invest in this critical area.
Now is the time for this Government to make amends for the last seven years of utter neglect.