Federal elections must prioritise housing

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The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has called on both major parties to embrace election polices that promote a housing recovery in the Australian economy.

"Residential building is one of the few sectors in a position to generate substantial economic activity in the wake of the mining boom," said HIA managing director, Shane Goodwin. "New home building has a significant multiplier effect that drives activity throughout the wider economy."

Goodwin said that, for a 1% productivity increase in new home building – either through cutting ‘red tape’ or modernising the taxation system – the wider economy will benefit by around $1bn.

"Australia is currently building around 25,000 homes per year, less than a decade ago, which is not only putting the brakes on job creation in the sector, but placing upward pressure on housing prices,” Goodwin said.

He added that housing affordability is consistently being nominated as one of the top few issues on the minds of voters.

“There is clearly a great deal of angst amongst Australians about how the current and future generations will be able to afford a home," he said.

The HIA pointed to key areas for policy action to promote a revival in new home building:

  • Reform the taxation system, including the removal of inefficient taxes on new housing
  • Reduction of the red and green tape burden that is choking small business
  • Improved funding mechanisms for residential related infrastructure
  • Better access to finance for home buyers and builders     
  • Modernisation of the industrial relations system

"Any party or candidate that goes into the federal election without a significant housing platform in their policy list is ignoring a key part of the economy and the concerns of millions of Australians," Goodwin said.

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