The government understands safe and affordable housing is central to the security and dignity of all Australians. However, Australia faces significant housing challenges.
A safe place to call home
A safe place to call home is a basic need all Australians should have access to, whether they are renters or homeowners.
For many people, finding an affordable home has become increasingly challenging, leading to insecure or substandard housing and, in far too many cases, homelessness.
Housing affordability is a major challenge
Home ownership is an aspiration for many Australians but has become increasingly difficult to achieve over recent decades as prices have outpaced incomes.
Rents are increasing and vacancy rates around Australia are low.
Although a nationwide concern, these problems of high prices, limited supply and housing stress are especially pressing in regional areas.
To address these issues, the 2022-23 October Budget included measures to deliver on the government’s housing reform agenda and implement its election commitments.
Interim National Housing Supply and Affordability Council
The interim National Housing Supply and Affordability Council is an independent advisory body established by the Australian Government. The interim Council commenced on 1 January 2023 and is intended to operate until the Council is established permanently in legislation.
The role of the Council is to provide independent, evidence-based expert advice to government on matters that materially impact housing supply and affordability in Australia.
The Council advises on national housing policy matters at the request of the Minister for Housing and on its own initiative.
The Council consists of seven members from across the housing spectrum and from across the country. Its members are dedicated people with informed views on how housing supply and affordability can be improved.
For more information, visit the Interim National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.
National Housing Accord
All levels of government need to collaborate with market participants – including investors, and the residential development, building and construction sector, to unlock quality, housing supply over the medium term.
To help tackle these challenges, the Australian Government is bringing these parties together under a new Housing Accord.
The Accord sets an initial aspirational target of one million new, well located homes over 5 years from mid-2024 and 10,000 new affordable homes supported by the Commonwealth with the states and territories to contribute up to an additional 10,000 further affordable homes.
Fore more details, read the Improving Housing Supply and Affordability fact sheet [PDF 546KB].
Housing Australia Future Fund
The government is establishing the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to provide a sustainable funding source to increase housing supply and improve service delivery. Investments from the Fund will seek to draw in new investment from state and territory governments and private capital providers to deliver new social housing projects.
The Fund will provide 20,000 new social housing dwellings, 4,000 of which will be allocated to women and children impacted by family and domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness. It will also provide 10,000 new affordable housing dwellings, including for frontline workers.
In its first 5 years, the Fund will also provide:
- $200 million for the repair, maintenance and improvements of housing in remote Indigenous communities
- $100 million for crisis and transitional housing options for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness
- $30 million to build more housing and fund specialist services for veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk homelessness.
National Housing Infrastructure Facility
The government has expanded the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to invest up to $575 million in unallocated funding. This will help new social and affordable dwellings and attract more institutional capital to the sector.
Supporting more Australians into home ownership
Help to Buy
The Help to Buy shared equity scheme will assist homebuyers to purchase a new or existing home with an equity contribution from the government.
This will mean eligible Australians can buy a home with a smaller deposit and mortgage.
Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee
The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee will bring homeownership back into reach for tens of thousands of Australians in regional areas. From 1 October 2022, 10,000 places will be available each financial year to support regional first homebuyers to purchase new or existing homes with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent.
More information on the scheme and other home buyer guarantee schemes is available from the NHFIC website.
Existing programs updates
In addition to new measures, the government has extended existing programs to better support home ownership.
More older Australians will be encouraged to downsize their homes, freeing up housing stock for younger families.
The Australian Government is extending the exemption of home sale proceeds from pension asset testing from 12 months to 24 months.
This will give pensioners more time to purchase, build or renovate a new home before their pension is affected.
In addition, the Australian Government is expanding access for people aged 55 to 59 to downsizer superannuation contributions.
Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme
The Australian Government will also provide $46.2 million to assist current and former ADF members to purchase their own home through the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.
Measures included in the October 2022-23 Budget are aimed to deliver immediate outcomes and progress an ambitious reform agenda, which includes:
- The expansion of the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to invest up to $575 million in the supply of social and affordable housing.
- The National Housing Accord, bringing together states and territories, the Australian Local Government Association, and representatives from the superannuation and construction sectors together to unlock quality, affordable housing supply over the medium term.
- The National Housing Supply and Affordability Council to independently advise the government on housing policy. It will be responsible for delivering advice on options to improve housing supply and affordability, reporting on key issues in housing policy, and promoting the regular collection and publication of data on housing supply, demand and affordability.
- The National Housing and Homelessness Plan to establish a clear national strategy to address the significant challenges facing the housing and homelessness sector.
- The $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which will provide a sustainable funding source to increase housing supply. The Fund will help build 20,000 new social and 10,000 new affordable housing dwellings in its first 5 years.
- The Help to Buy program, which will reduce the cost of buying a home for eligible Australians.
- The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee which, from 1 October 2022, will help up to 10,000 first home buyers a year in regional Australia.
The Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness is actively engaging with state and territory housing ministers to deliver immediate action alongside the government’s reform agenda.