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Budget 2004: Costello promotes further decline in housing affordability for Australian families.



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Daryl Melham MP

Shadow Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Local Government

COSTELLO PROMOTES FURTHER DECLINE IN HOUSING AFFORDABILITY FOR AUSTRALIAN FAMILIES

Mr Costello’s Budget offers nothing to improve the housing affordability of Australian families. There is:

ƒ No plan to improve housing affordability for first home owners even though the Minister for Family and Community Services acknowledges that housing affordability is at its lowest level for 10 years. Over 60% of first home owners earn less than $50,000 per annum, the very same families who will not receive a single cent in tax cuts.

ƒ No plan to target the First Home Owners Grant to those most in need. This means that the grant can still buy million dollar properties.

ƒ No plan to reduce the ‘housing stress’ of over 400,000 low-income households paying more than 30% of their income in housing costs.

ƒ No plan to stimulate the supply of affordable housing for low-income households. The capital cities’ property boom in recent years has created an over-supply of rental housing at the top-end of the market. It has not increased the stock of low-rent dwellings. Dwelling investment is forecast to fall in 2004-05 further squeezing out low-income households.

ƒ No plan to work with the States to reverse the decline in public housing stock and reduce the ever-increasing waiting list of Australian families in severe housing need.

Labor’s National Housing Strategy, to be released before the next Federal Election, will be directed at improving the housing affordability for all Australian families, redressing the serious shortage of low-cost rental housing and working with the States to re-invigorate the provision of public and not-for-profit social housing under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement.

Further Information: Daryl Melham 0418 213 680 Lynne Chester 0409 467487 12 May 2004