Behind the door, there’s not much more to $11.3 billion housing announcement

11 May 2024

The Albanese Government has announced a headline investment of $11.3 billion to build more homes for more Australians. Whilst we await the detail in the budget papers, it appears that beyond the headline figures much of the funding announced is a continuation of the existing core funding of $1.6 billion a year in the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) which was extended through to June 2024 while negotiations were underway with states and territories.

We understand that a new agreement has been struck for the NHHA that continues approximately the same level of funding and therefore accounts for much of the $9.3 billion of the funding announced on Friday. Make no mistake, this is an important foundational commitment that enables states and territories to fund homelessness services and the provision of existing social housing with greater certainty for the next 5 years. It also builds on other government commitments already in place.

But it is not a step up in funding at a time when the social housing system is broke and broken. An additional $1 billion for the National Housing Infrastructure Facility is certainly welcome and is a bigger downpayment on the new funding commitments needed, as is the $1 billion to fund infrastructure – though not directly putting keys in doors, it is a crucial enabler.

However, in the midst of a housing crisis that is tearing at the fabric of our communities and the economy, the government response must include further substantive funding and accelerate the delivery of existing initiatives to create new social and affordable housing. We will be looking beyond the headlines and hoping for additional measures in the budget and in the weeks ahead.  

Scott Langford, Group CEO St George Community Housing

Watch the full SBS World News bulletin here: