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Housing Solution

Housing Solution



I should be accustomed to watching politicians failing to fix problems, but somehow I can never get used to it.

The capacity for Australian politicians to blunder when we need them to excel is quite extraordinary.

And I think part of the problem is that politicians are really only interested in the press conference and haven’t thought much beyond that.

And so it is with the political response to the housing crisis.
The Prime Minister got together with all the state and territory premiers and first ministers to talk about fixing the housing shortage.

These are our national leaders, the people we have elected to fix problems – like not enough dwellings, the absence of affordability and the sharp rise in residential rents.

So they got together and talked about it and then held a press conference in front of the assembled media.

What they presented was laughable.

The notion of building 1.2 million new homes is an inadequate response on a number of levels.

Firstly, it’s little more than a re-hash of the Federal Government’s existing policy announced some time ago.

Secondly, it provides – assuming it all happens as planned – a solution for people looking for places to live three or four years from now.

It provides nothing for people who need a home now, or next week, or next year, or even two years from now.

There are ways to create short-term solutions to the rental shortage but the politicians are blind to these ideas, because they fail to understand the problem and how it was created.

Thirdly, it fails to address the most fundamental question – who is going to build these dwellings?

The reason we are currently building too few homes is that we have shortages of everything – shortages of builders, shortages of tradespeople and shortages of materials.

Every week more builders go broke and exit the industry. I’ve just read the latest headline on an article describing the demise of four more building companies – and that’s just last week.

This is happening every week.

The shortages of everything have caused cost escalations and businesses are being sent to bankruptcy.

Builders and developers are cancelling or deferring projects because they can’t get the materials or the workers they need.

How can our political leaders seriously suggest we’re going to build over a million new homes when they haven’t addressed this problem?

Not surprisingly, the organisations that represent builders and developers have welcomed the plan – because they have a vested interest.

The biggest noise in real estate is always the voice of vested interests – and developers and builders benefit from a plan to fast-track the building of over a million new homes.

They’re happy to publicly support the policy, even though it doesn’t all the fundamental issues which are causing blockages and failures.

The one thing the Prime Minister HAS got right is his refusal to bow to the demands of the Greens, whose policies would turn the housing crisis into a housing catastrophe.

Albanese says the Greens – who have demanded a national rent freeze – would make the problem worse.

However, he is pushing through an eight-point plan to improve renters’ rights.

But there is nothing about the rights of the property owners – and this is why we have the rental shortage.

There are two parties in every rental transaction – the tenants and the owners – and every political decision makes the situation worse for the owners, who are already coping with massive increases in all their costs, including interest rates, insurances, council rates, land taxes and other issues.

Until politicians start considering the rights of owners, as well as the rights of tenants, Australia will continue to have a chronic shortage of rental properties.


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