The Future of Housing Assistance

Against the backdrop of the Courier Mail article* on 19 October highlighting Queensland Government’s potential proposal to take back a lead role in the provision of social housing, thereby reversing the trend for increased CHP involvement, it was interesting to hear the three different perspectives of the speakers taking part in the Plenary Keynote Address at AHURI’s Future of Housing Assistance conference.

The Federal perspective was delivered by Senator Zed Seselja, Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs.  His address was heavily focused on outcomes to ensure Government funded programs don’t just deliver activity but positive outcomes also. The message that spending needs to be more effective was delivered loud and clear.

Zoe Bettison MP, SA’s Minister for Social Housing, used her address to detail SA’s commitment to deliver better social and affordable housing. She championed the need for long term secure funding to provide some stability and safety for those reliant on government funding.

Mick de Brenni MP, QLD Minister for Housing and Public Works, spoke with passion about the need to provide aspiration for individuals rather than lock them into a social housing system that is hard to break out of. As well as deliver shelter for those most in need, he stated that affordable housing needs to be a focal point for any funding strategy.  Against the tide of sentiment shown by his NSW and SA counterparties, Minister de Brenni was very firm on his views that stock transfers were not the silver bullet to solving housing problems and that government needs to play a fundamental role in the provision of housing.

Although the address contained differing views on how to implement better housing strategies, the underlying message was the same.  There is no quick fix to the housing problem in Australia, but effective, secure, long term funding will go some way to provide stable, appropriate and high quality housing for those most in need.

At SVA, we’re looking to work collaboratively with stakeholders (government, CHPs, service providers) to ensure that all Australians have access to stable, appropriate and affordable accommodation with tailored wrap-around support and transitional opportunities for low-income earners.

We’d be interested to hear your views about how government can support the implementation of better social and affordable housing strategies, so please do share your comments below.


* ‘Non-profit locked out of plan’ published by Courier Mail on October 19, 2016