THE Housing Industry Association says the Federal Budget’s housing focus would send important signals to state and local governments and the community the government was serious about meeting the challenge of delivering more affordable housing.
But the association’s deputy managing director Graham Wolfe said the association was concerned about the negative impacts on residential building from the Budget’s measures on foreign investment.
“Plans to tax vacant homes, limit the share of foreign investment in new projects and increase foreign investor duties all send exactly the wrong signal to potential investors in Australia.
“Barriers to investment are not productive for the building industry or the economy more broadly; investment needs to be encouraged.
“HIA would urge the Government to build on the Budget’s initial steps towards more affordable housing by making this a standing item on the COAG agenda.
“In the meantime HIA will continue to urge the Government to undertake a thorough national inquiry into housing affordability and establish a mechanism for the regular monitoring of the crucial supply of land for the residential building industry.’’
“There are no simple solutions but providing well targeted assistance to help first home buyers save for their first home and to providers of community housing through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation will make a difference.
“Although not an affordability measure, the incentives for downsizers will help stimulate the supply of new housing more appropriate to the needs of seniors.
“Much of the work to improve housing affordability rests with state and local governments and the Budget has made significant commitments to encourage action. The National Housing Infrastructure Facility [with] $1 billion behind it is more than just window dressing.’’