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Tuesday, 19 March 1957

Mr WARD (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Prime Minister say whether it is a fact that a crisis exists in this country due to the lack of housing to accommodate the people of the Australian community? Is it a fact that thousands of Australian families are compelled to occupy garages, huts, fowl houses and various kinds of sub-standard dwellings? Is it a fact that a great number of these families have been existing in these conditions for very many years, in some instances for more than ten years? Is it a fact that many of the menfolk of these families are ex-servicemen, in many instances suffering from war-caused disabilities? Is it a fact that thousands of potential home owners have capital of £1,000 to £1,500, but find it impossible to raise the remainder of the finance necessary to build or purchase a home? Is it a fact that the lack of housing has destroyed many marriages which would otherwise have been successful, and has forced large numbers of young Australian couples to restrict the size of their families? Is it a fact that while this situation exists timber mills and brickyards have been forced to close, industries producing building accessories have had to reduce production, and considerable numbers of building workers are at present unemployed or have been forced to seek work in other industries? Is it a fact that the number of homes now under construction is lower than at any other time during the past seven years? Is it a fact that the .Prime Minister specifically undertook, during the 1949 federal election campaign, to solve the housing problem, promising to build more homes and reduce their cost?

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