House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Questions without Notice

Housing Australia Future Fund

2:26 pm

Photo of Carina GarlandCarina Garland (Chisholm, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Social Services. How will the Housing Australia Future Fund support vulnerable or disadvantaged Australians, particularly women? Why is it important this bill passes the parliament?

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to thank the member for Chisholm for her question and the passion that she has for providing affordable housing in her electorate and indeed right around the country. The Albanese government has made housing affordability and supply a priority since forming government last year. This approach is, of course, in stark contrast to those opposite who in government and now in opposition continue to show a lack of interest in housing policy. Through the Albanese government's action, we are supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians through our $2 billion Social Housing Accelerator, which will deliver thousands of new social homes across Australia.

Our government took steps last year to unlock over $575 million from the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to deliver more social and affordable housing, and this government is making the largest increase to Commonwealth rent assistance in over 30 years, benefiting more than one million low-income households, including pensioners, families, veterans, jobseekers and students. Now with agreement on the passage of the Housing Australia Future Fund legislation, this fund will unlock extra housing stock that will benefit Australians, particularly women.

We know that violence against women and children is a leading cause of homelessness in Australia, which is why we've committed through the Housing Australia Future Fund to deliver $100 million over the first five years for crisis and transitional housing options for women and children. In addition to this investment in crisis and transitional housing, the HAFF will also facilitate 4,000 new long-term homes for women and children impacted by family and domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness. These investments from the Housing Australia Future Fund also complement our work to build more emergency accommodation for women and children through our Safe Places program. Our government has delivered already around 270 new emergency accommodation places under the Safe Places program, assisting up to 1,604 women and children.

Now with the passage of the HAFF legislation, we will be able to accelerate this investment, providing more crisis accommodation for more women and children and for older women in particular so that they have a place to call home.