Hon Judi Moylan

Housing affordability has decreased under Labor

Wednesday’s release of the Real Estate Institute of Australia's Deposit Power Housing Affordability Report shows that, during the first quarter of 2010, housing affordability decreased across all Australian states and territories, with average household loan repayments surging $337 over the last 12 months. The proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increased nationally from 30.7 per cent in the December quarter of 2009, to 32.6 per cent in the March quarter of 2010. Kevin Rudd promised at the 2007 election that a Labor government will be “dedicated to promoting the supply of affordable housing for all Australians.” This report demonstrates that the government has failed to deliver on this election promise. The Real Estate Institute Report follows the release of the Housing Supply Council’s 2010 report in May, which shows the gap between housing demand and supply is likely to continue to grow over the next 20 years. In fact, the Council estimates that there will be a cumulative gap of 640,600 dwellings by 2029. Around 160,000 lower income Australian households are in severe housing stress, paying more than 50 per cent of their gross income in mortgage repayments. In addition, around 170,000 lower income households are paying more than 50 per cent of their gross income in rent. These figures suggest that the Government’s endless talk on addressing this issue in its first term has been nothing but rhetoric. Labor has had many chances to take action, yet has completely failed to do anything. Kevin Rudd labelled housing affordability as a 'barbeque stopper' before the last election, but despite spending of around $9.8 billion on housing initiatives since 2007, housing affordability has actually declined, rental and mortgage stress has increased, and homelessness has worsened under the Rudd/Gillard Government. Homeowners and renters alike are facing more household costs than ever before because of Labor's inept economic management. This is exemplified by its program of borrowing and spending money, which has contributed to six interest rate rises in eight months. The Government that said it would deal with the rising costs of living has almost completely given up on this front. When you combine this slide with Labor's proposed Super Profit Mining Tax, which will push up the cost of building materials, we have a recipe for the dream of home ownership slipping away from more and more people. The people of Pearce want real action to resolve issues of housing affordability, not just more talk and no action.

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