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New housing think-tank launched.

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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family & Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women  


Debate on housing issues, from homelessness to home ownership, would get a new lease of life with the launch of a new housing think-tank and publication, Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman, said today.

Speaking at the Housing Ministers' Committee Meeting in Adelaide, Senator Newman said the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Ltd (AHURI) had been revitalised with increased funding and had been set the goal of providing relevant, credible research.

"The Institute will aim to provide high quality housing and urban research, which will help in the complex area of housing policy development," Senator Newman said.

"We need this research to help us provide the right responses to people in need and to understand clearly what the future directions for housing assistance should be.

"The new AHURI will provide the government and the community with credible and current information on housing issues, which will stimulate public debate, and all of this helps governments respond more effectively to housing issues.

"Where the previous institute provided information of academic interest, the new body will look into causes, effects and catalysts for housing problems which is of interest to the entire community and relevant to modern policy development."

The Minister also welcomed the Institute's first publication, "Australia at Home" which outlines some of the current housing issues.

"It sets the scene and highlights a number of issues facing us and the community, from homelessness to home ownership. I hope people will read it and think about these issues."

Senator Newman said the Commonwealth, States and Territories would provide $2.5 million in funding this year to the Institute and had agreed to continue funding the body until December 2003.

Based in Melbourne, AHURI has entered into partnerships with universities and research centres around Australia to undertake research on key housing issues.

Senator Newman said AHURI's chair, Mr Rob Knowles, had a wealth of knowledge in the area of housing, having previously been Victoria's Housing Minister while other board members had been drawn from government, universities, commerce and industry.

"This mix of expertise is clearly important in terms of building a healthy AHURI which is able to deliver research on complex issues.

"Housing is one of our most basic needs and is therefore of interest to the entire community. I look forward to seeing the work of the institute and its future publications and to using that information to develop and deliver policies which meet the needs of all Australians."

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