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In need of repair: the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement - study report

First home owners Private rental Housing markets Affordable housing Rental affordability Homelessness Australia

Australia has a housing affordability problem, with many Australians struggling to rent or buy a home. This study is review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement and it examines how well the Australian, State and Territory governments have achieved the objectives, outcomes and outputs set out in the Agreement, and the suitability of the Agreement for the future.

Key points:

  • The National Housing and Homelessness Agreement — intended to improve access to affordable, safe and sustainable housing — is ineffective. It does not foster collaboration between governments or hold governments to account. It is a funding contract, not a blueprint for reform.
  • The next intergovernmental Agreement (and the proposed National Housing and Homelessness Plan) is an opportunity for governments to work together on a national reform agenda to make housing more affordable. Rising rents and low vacancy rates are placing private renters under pressure, which increases demand for government-funded housing and homelessness services.
  • The focus of the next Agreement should be on improving the affordability of the private rental market and the targeting of housing assistance. Improving the capacity of low-income renters to pay for housing and removing constraints on new housing supply are key to making housing more affordable.
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