Published: 30 October 2015
On the Home Front Today at NHCPERTH
Dale Carroll reporting on the National Housing Conference in Perth, WA:
The morning session attended was Affordable home ownership looking at government housing strategies including what mechanisms can deliver more affordable housing and the contexts in which outcomes can be maximised. Case studies from South Australia WA and Victoria were presented,
The first looked at assisted home ownership financing while the second looked at how the WA Affordable Housing Strategy has invested beyond public housing and the last model was the Melbourne Apartments Project which breaks new ground allowing social housing tenats to enter home ownership at greatly reduced financial outlays.
At the end of the day the final plenary session was a Q&A format and asked questions like how do we provide a home for everyone gavin with one panelist suggesting say tax concessions be conditional on providing affordable housing. Another suggestion was to create a new assett class and housing should be a basic human right. Also affordable housing needs new institutional capital. Some believe our governments cant be trusted. Others were quick to point out there must be a subsidy from government but change must come from the community. Australia needs the development and hold model not develop and sell.
The WA shared equity model is seen as exemplary where the Housing Authority buys wholesale and sells at discounted rates to social housing customers ---- why is it not working in all states - it works in times of low demand when builders need work - the shared equity can be recycled and used to develop more properties - or to provide capital growth for other reinvestment goals of government. It was clear that many considered housing to be a right rather than a privilege. And what can be done to reform taxation - perhaps stamp duty should be removed and replaced with uniform land tax phased to when you next buy a property. The federal government could cover the start up short falls. And the question was asked could the USA type tax credits work in Australia with one response being we could use existing tax systems but add conditions that include low income entry.
The NHC closed to day and the next will be in Sydney 2017. What will have changed if these ideas have been implemented and will rental and home ownership be more affordable?