Greens leader Adam Bandt has today responded to Labor’s shared equity scheme, calling it deeply inadequate and raising concerns that it could make the housing crisis worse.
The Greens will consider their position on the legislation and intend to further scrutinise the bill through an inquiry process. With an entire generation of young people locked out of housing, a key concern is the extremely small number of beneficiaries of the scheme, as well as the prospect that it will further push up the price of homes.
As the Housing Australia Future Fund debate has shown, Labor will not take meaningful action on the housing crisis without the Greens pushing them. Earlier this year the Greens were able to secure $3 billion in funding for social housing and a guaranteed spend of $500 million per year.
The Productivity Commission has said that there is not a strong case for government assistance to be targeted at purchasing a home. Instead, they should focus housing assistance on the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, which will have overall benefits to the housing market. They outlined that there is a risk that demand-side policies, like the Help-to-Buy scheme will push house prices up further and lock more people out of home ownership.
Quotes attributable to Adam Bandt, leader of the Australian Greens:
“Labor is tinkering around the edges of the housing crisis instead of stopping unlimited rent increases and ending unfair tax breaks for rich property moguls,” Mr Bandt said.
“We will look at this legislation, but are concerned about approaches that allow a tiny proportion of applicants to buy a house while potentially pushing up prices for everyone else.
“It’s Labor’s ‘hard to get’ scheme. Getting a spot in this scheme will be like finding a Willy Wonka golden ticket. You shouldn’t have to win a lottery to be able to have a home.
“Housing is an essential service and in a country as wealthy as Australia, the government has an obligation to ensure everyone has an affordable, quality home.
“Property developers will be happy to hear that Labor is dressing up another boost to their profits as a solution to the housing crisis.”
“The Greens want housing and rents to be cheaper. That means freezing rent increases, massive investment in public housing and phasing out unfair tax concessions for property moguls.
“With Labor backing rich property investors and developers, the Greens are proudly the party of renters and people trying to buy their first home.”