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Published: June 2022

Fresh national focus on housing

Media release: Promoting housing portfolio to federal Cabinet sign of new era in politics

2 June 2022

Tenants Victoria welcomes the Albanese Government’s promotion of the housing portfolio from the outer ministry to Cabinet as a sign of a new era of politics that brings fresh opportunities for the growing numbers of renters in Australia.

Jennifer Beveridge, CEO of Tenants Victoria, said: ‘The new Government has signalled policy ambition in this critical area, and we welcome the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Julie Collins, to her new role.

‘Tenants Victoria, the state’s peak organisation for renters, will contribute our voice and ideas to the discourse about housing policy priorities, grounded in our five decades of helping renters facing hardship and disadvantage.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said when announcing the new ministry on May 31 that housing would be a priority of his government.
Mr Albanese, who grew up in public housing, said: ‘If you follow my history in politics, housing has been a passion of mine. It’s also been a passion of mine that the Federal Government should be playing a role in in areas like housing and urban development and those issues. And that will be an absolute priority of my Government.’

Ms Beveridge said: ‘The Government imagines the Commonwealth to play a greater role in framing housing policy along with other tiers of government. This leadership is needed. We really hope the establishment of the proposed National Housing Supply and Affordability Council will start to address systemic issues facing renters beyond aspirations for home ownership.’

According to Labor’s election policies the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, informed by experts, will also report on rental affordability and homelessness. The new body’s role includes advising on ways to boost construction of social and affordable housing. Importantly, Labor has also committed to a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 new social and affordable homes in its first five years.

Ms Beveridge said: ‘These are promising signals from the Albanese Government. Today, we have issues with housing affordability and supply confronting too many renters around the country, and especially hurting people on low incomes.’

‘To address our nation’s long-term housing challenges, policymakers must grasp that the Australian dream for a growing number of people in our community is now a safe, secure and affordable rented home – and provide solutions in line with these contemporary realities. Then we can truly thrive as a community with safe, secure and affordable housing for all.’

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