A national alliance of community housing and welfare groups is campaigning the government to abolish “unfair” negative gearing and put housing affordability at the centre of this federal election.

The alliance – made up of Homelessness Australia (HA), National Shelter, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) – has created a petition calling for tax reforms that “put ordinary people ahead of the interests of investors”.

“Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis and current tax policy has fuelled Australian housing prices to record and unaffordable levels,” ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said.

“Tax settings that encourage speculative investment and inflate house prices – like negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount – must be addressed in a new national strategy to address housing affordability.”

She said these “unfair tax concessions” cost the federal budget more than $7 billion every year with over half of these tax breaks going to investors in the top 10% of income earners. 

The petition is arguing that the savings from binning negative gearing could be redirected to improve affordability, including a tax rebate for new affordable housing, and significantly increased investment in public and community housing.

“ACOSS stands with the community in insisting that governments do all that they can to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax to enable us to fund our services properly into the future and to help end the housing crisis that is pushing people into financial hardship,” Dr Goldie said.