Housing is fundamental to all of us. Having a home that you get to call your own and a stable roof over your head is the foundation that we all need to thrive. Without a stable home, how do you get your kids out to school each day? How do you know that they’ll go to the same school next year? How do you make sure that you are healthy and comfortable? How do you make sure that you can keep safe? Homes are about all that and about more than that too. They bring the confidence of having your own space and that you have the ability to shape that space and your life in the way that you want to.
I know there are too many people in our country at the moment who are stressed about their housing and who do not have that stability. It is something that people in my community raise with me regularly. That is why I’m so pleased that the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill will pass this parliament this week. This is a huge investment in housing, $10 billion, the most significant reform to housing that our country has seen in a generation. This is every home that is built, every person, every couple or family that are supported into a home—helping to set those people up with so much more than bricks and mortar. It will help set them up with that security, that stability, that comes from having a stable home. Housing is life-changing. With this fund our government is going to help change people’s lives for the better.
The fund will help deliver 30,000 new social and affordable homes in its first five years—homes that are very much needed right across our country and in my local community. This will mean more affordable homes for renters, more homes for essential workers and more homes for those people most in need: for vulnerable people, including older, single women and, for women and children fleeing family violence. It will also mean more homes for veterans at risk of homelessness and for services like Vasey RSL Care, which is doing brilliant work at the V Centre just next to Heidelberg Repat supporting veterans and their families but which could do even more with the right support from this fund.
This fund puts us on the path to start to address the severe inaction on housing during the nine years of the coalition government. Our government has been left with a hole on housing. We are filling the hole in. We are getting on with the job. It sits alongside a range of housing measures our government is delivering: our Social Housing Accelerator Fund, a $2 billion boost to deliver thousands of new social homes across the country together with state and territory governments; 10,000 affordable homes over five years through federal funding of the National Housing Accord to be matched by up to another 10,000 homes from states and territories; our increase of 15 per cent to the maximum rate of Commonwealth rent assistance, the largest increase in more than 30 years; and a $1.7 billion extension of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. Our government understands housing is fundamental. We’re getting on with it.