Green light: After months of haggling, deal finally struck on national housing scheme

Labor’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund will pass federal parliament after a deal was struck with the Greens.

Sep 11, 2023, updated Sep 11, 2023

The fund is expected to generate 30,000 social and affordable homes over five years.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Housing Minister Julie Collins said in a joint statement the bill would pass the Senate later this week.

In addition to the $10 billion, the government will invest $1 billion in the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to support new homes.

“The government thanks the crossbench in the House of Representatives and the Senate, including the Greens, for the constructive engagement over a number of months on this critical legislation,” Mr Albanese said.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said it came on top of $2 billion extra previously promised by the government to pass the bill.

“That is $3 billion for public and community housing that the government initially said they could not find,” Mr Bandt said.

Earlier on Monday, independent MP Helen Haines introduced a bill aimed at “unlocking” social and affordable housing in rural and regional areas.

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The Unlocking Regional Housing bill would amend the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act to ensure at least 30 per cent of funding goes to regional, rural and remote areas.

Ms Haines said the fund did not have any guaranteed funding for these areas.

“With almost 30 per cent of the population living outside major cities, regional Australians deserve their fair share of housing funding,” she told parliament on Monday.

“I acknowledge the government has made multiple funding announcements for housing supply in recent months, but not one of these is dedicated to regional rural and remote Australia.

“There is a blind spot that I am seeking to fix. We need action now.”

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