Government Would Save $1.6 Billion by Boosting Social Housing Construction to Post-war Levels, Says Report

Australia needs a tenfold increase in social housing construction to combat a shortfall of almost half a million properties left by 25 years of inadequate investment, a new report warns.

New research from The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) estimates Australia will need 727,300 additional social housing properties by 2036 to ensure adequate housing for low-income earners.

AHURI has called on the government to fund this expansion itself, rather than turning to private investors as it has increasingly done in recent years.

With an existing shortfall of 433,000 social housing units nationally, AHURI researchers say 36,000 new social housing properties will need to be built each year  for the next two decades to meet future need.

Report co-author Dr Laurence Troy said that recently this figure had been closer to 3,000.

Forty years ago, he said, Australian governments invested to produce up to 14,000 new social housing units a year, but construction rates were now minimal.

“We estimate that [an] output of about 15,000 is needed just to stop the existing shortfall from getting even bigger,” Troy said.

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Source: Pro Bono Australia