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Focus on Housing in Federal Budget Welcomed

Additional housing investment and the announcement of an accord between Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local Governments and institutional investors to build one million homes over the next seven years represents the ambition, long-term commitment and vision that is needed to address Australia’s broken housing system, according to housing and homelessness peak body NT Shelter.

Executive Officer Peter McMillan said that the construction of 40,000 social and affordable homes over the next 5 years, and the potential for State and Territory Governments to deliver another 10,000 homes, went further than the Labor Government’s pre-election commitment and should be applauded.

“There are a raft of measures that give us cause to stand up and take notice here in the Northern Territory” he said.

“These include commitments to much needed new housing builds, a $100 million investment into housing in the NT’s homelands, and the engagement of the State and Territory Governments, superannuation funds and the building industry to work together to get vital private sector investment in good quality, energy efficient housing.

Mr McMillan said that while tangible short and long-term targets for new housing builds was very welcome news, the current situation for many renters across the Northern Territory was perilous and there were fears of more hardship to come in a high inflation, high interest rate environment.

“Each year for the past 10 years we have seen demand for frontline homelessness services in NT rise by around four per cent. Rents have soared in recent years and finding a place to rent, let alone one that is affordable, has been extremely difficult for many Territorians. No doubt there will be much discussion, as part of Federal Government’s proposed Housing and Homelessness Plan, to determine what is possible to prevent more people experiencing homelessness until more housing supply comes online.” he said.

Mr McMillan said it was encouraging that the Northern Territory Government had warmly welcomed the budget measures on social and affordable housing.

“Given The NT Government’s ambitions of a $40 Billion economy, there has never been a more important time for them to partner with industry, Local Government and the non-government sector to ensure the Northern Territory gets a good share of the spoils under the Commonwealth’s housing and home ownership initiatives. This won’t be gifted to us on a plate. We will have to work hard for it”.

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