BI-PARTISAN support for a Federal Housing Minister recognises the urgent need to address housing affordability challenges at a national level, says the Housing Industry Association.
Appointing a Housing Minister is one of 37 recommendations contained in the Building Up and Moving Out report released on September 19 by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.
Housing Industry Association industry policy acting executive director Tim Reardon said appointing a senior Housing Minister was necessary to improving the efficient delivery of shovel-ready residential land, coordinating the infrastructure to support new communities and addressing housing affordability challenges across the country.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia has estimated that the administrative costs of releasing a block of land for building in Sydney is almost $500,000 per block.
“This is why the average cost of a home in Sydney is now over $850,000,” he said.
The report also lists a number of actions that a new Housing Minister would be responsible for, including monitoring housing affordability issues and leading a joint federal, state and local government response.
A Housing Minister could also ensure all policies considered by cabinet support the provision of more affordable, quality housing and strike the right balance between investors and home buyers and coordinate all government agencies with a role in implementing housing outcomes.
The Minister could also identify and strategically develop Commonwealth land holdings to address housing affordability and amenity issues and investigate the viability of nationalising and streamlining planning regulation similar to the Australian Building Codes Board model.
The report reflects many of the recommendations raised by the HIA.