Commentary

Sensible reform to finance affordable housing deserves cross-party support

Housing Housing prices Low income housing affordable housing Australia United Kingdom
Description

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s visit to cold old London last week in the middle of the Australia summer was time well spent. Morrison made time in his hectic schedule for a lengthy meeting with the UK’s Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) to discuss an affordable housing financial intermediary with its chief executive, Piers Williamson.

Founded in 1987 to make up for the shortfall in public funding, THFC is a finance aggregator and intermediary that co-funds affordable housing for rent and ownership. And Williamson is no stranger to Australia’s housing problems. He has been a source of advice and advocate for policy reform in various Australian industry and government forums. He also has the ear of our largest superannuation funds.

And, much like Australia, the UK has a serious problem with housing affordability and supply, made worse by policy and market settings that fuel instability rental housing. In this context, channelling investment via a specialist financial intermediary towards new, affordable housing provided by landlords with a social purpose makes good sense.

The idea just needs an effective champion in Australia. In fact, it needs a bipartisan team of champions.

Follow the link to the full article at The Conversation

Publication Details
Publication Year:
2017