DISSENTING REPORT BY COALITION
Coalition senators acknowledge that adequate shelter is a basic human
need. As a caring society, assistance should be provided to enable reasonable
access to housing for all sectors of the Australian community. Particularly in
these times of economic difficulty, we support the concept of innovative
partnerships between the private sector and all levels of government to provide
affordable rental housing.
Partnerships between developers and government which provide the
incentives necessary to boost the nation's housing stock are an appropriate way
of increasing access to affordable rental housing. Realistically, government-
owned housing stock can cater to only a small proportion of those seeking to
rent their own home. Indeed, the amount of stock owned by state and territory
government agencies – much of it funded by the Federal Government through
the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement – has diminished in recent
years. Growing waiting times for public housing properties are a reflection of
the insufficient number of such properties to cater to the needs of those who
are unable to meet the high rental costs of dwellings on the private market.
Coalition senators further acknowledge that a partnership arrangement
may provide stimulus to the building industry whilst increasing the available
rental stock. However, the methodology for providing the necessary
investment stimulus represented by the National Rental Affordability Scheme
(NRAS) is of some concern. Coalition senators acknowledge the impetus for
the scheme but believe there are many unaddressed problems, making it
unlikely the scheme will achieve the targeted take up.
Causes of Concern
i) The scheme fails to adequately address the undersupply of new dwellings
on the rental housing market.
This scheme in its current form will not have a significant effect on the
overall housing stock. Whilst it is anticipated that there will be a shortfa