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The Housing Industry Association is urging the Federal Government to inject more funds into the housing market and address the ongoing supply issue.
“Any move to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13 that is achieved by cutting or neglecting the urgent need for productive investment in core areas such as housing would be counter-productive and short-sighted,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.
"HIA reiterates that the timing could not be worse to strip any incentives out of the housing market and HIA would be disappointed to see any reduction in what little resourcing there currently is for housing-related portfolios. This year is all but guaranteed to be one of the weakest this decade in terms of new home building and comes at a time when as a nation we face a large and growing housing shortage, high rents, and poor affordability.
"Instead of concentrating on slashing and reaping, this year’s Budget should accelerate reforms, including in housing supply, and in productive investment including in skills and infrastructure. This will not only help ensure Australians have access to life’s essentials including housing, but will help lift Australia’s productivity.”
The HIA is calling on the government to immediately introduce stimulus measures to boost new housing; reaffirm commitment to reforming the supply side of Australia’s housing market; and appoint a minister whose sole responsibility will be remedying Australia’s housing shortage.
The government also needs to address the shortage of skilled labour by committing to ongoing substantial investment in skills and training to ensure the projected wave of retirees can be replaced by equally-skilled workers, Mr Dale said.