House debates

Monday, 18 March 2024

Private Members' Business

Home Guarantee Scheme

2:56 pm

Photo of Graham PerrettGraham Perrett (Moreton, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Albanese Labor government is committed to taking action on housing to support more Australians to own their own homes and to ensure renters get a fair deal. The challenges in the housing sector today were not created by Labor, but we take responsibility to urgently deal with them. We're addressing a decade of dithering by the former coalition government by committing $25 billion in new housing investments over the next decade. What are the coalition and the Greens doing? They're intent on saying no to reform and no to action to resolve housing issues. The message to aspirational homebuyers is clear: the coalition and Greens don't want to help you into a home. The only thing they're saying yes to is delaying measures that will make real differences to Australians either looking to buy their own home or needing to access a rental property.

Labor understands how crucial it is to have a safe and stable place to live. We know that everyone needs somewhere to call home and that everyone needs to know the roof over their head is secure. That's why the Albanese Labor government has an ambitious housing reform agenda and why we've already made significant progress. Labor expanded the Home Guarantee Scheme by widening eligibility requirements to the First Home Guarantee and Family Home Guarantee schemes, which means that more people are able to secure finance sooner with government support, and the Family Home Guarantee was opened up to eligible borrowers who are single legal guardians of children, such as aunts, uncles and grandparents. The Home Guarantee Scheme has supported more than 100,000 people into homeownership since May 2022, with almost one in three first home buyers accessing the scheme. We also delivered the new Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee three months ahead of schedule, in October 2022, and assisted more than 15,000 people into homeownership.

The Albanese government's housing agenda is also having a positive impact in my home state of Queensland. The Miles Labor government is making Queensland the first jurisdiction to progress the Help to Buy legislation, which is now in the Senate. Nationally, Help to Buy will support 40,000 Australians, over four years, to buy a home. Eligible homebuyers with a deposit of just two per cent will benefit from an equity contribution from the government of up to 40 per cent, or 30 per cent for existing homes.

I am calling on the Liberals and the Greens to say yes to the 40,000 aspirational Australians who are waiting for a chance to make their homeowning dreams come true and to pass this crucial legislation. Labor is leading collaboration with the states and territories to help them meet the target to build 1.2 million new homes over five years, from July, through $3 billion new homes bonus and the $500 million Housing Support Program. This is in addition to the Housing Accord which supports states and territories to build 10,000 affordable homes.

To the more than 30 per cent of Australians who are renting a home: Labor has your back! The $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund will provide 30,000 new social and affordable rental homes. That's building on the $2 billion Social Housing Accelerator for 4,000 new rental homes. Our better deal for renters gives renters extra security. For the first time in Australian history, we're moving towards a nationally consistent policy to require genuine reasonable grounds for eviction. We're also leading efforts with the states and territories to improve conditions for renters. We're focusing on the development of minimal rental standards, and we want these standards to limit rental increases to once a year.

Labor knows that times are tough, so to assist with the rising cost of rent we've increased the maximum rate of Commonwealth rent assistance by 15 per cent. Labor is also providing additional support to those experiencing homelessness, with a $67.5 million boost to homelessness funding through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. All these reforms amount to the most significant action on housing issues in a generation. As my good friend, the Minister for Housing, said:

Our ambitious housing reform agenda is working across the board:

More help for homebuyers;

More help for renters; and

More help for Australians needing a safe place for the night.

It's time for the coalition and the Greens to support Labor's plan to build more homes, support more people to buy homes, protect renters and provide support for those experiencing homelessness.

Sitting suspended from 15: 00 to 17: 29


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