More than 300 organisations, including Catholic Social Services Victoria and a number of our member organisations, have signed an open letter calling for a social housing construction boom, similar to that of the post-war era. The initiative has been led by the Everybody’s Home campaign, which is pushing for the Federal government to build 30,000 new homes in Australia in the next four years, not only to deliver families much needed secure housing but to also in a bid to create some 18,000 jobs.
The broad coalition of signatories includes prominent national bodies, such as Catholic Social Services Australia, St Vincent's Health Australia, Australian Council Of Social Services (ACOSS), the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), Anglicare Australia, YWCA Australia, ACTU, Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, National Shelter and Homelessness Australia.
Our member organisation signatories include Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, Bridigine Asylum Seeker Project, CatholicCare Greater Melbourne Geelong & Gippsland, Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand, Jesuit Social Services, Missionary Sisters of Service, Sacred Heart Mission, Vinnies Victoria, VincentCare Victoria, VicAFam and Wellsprings for Women.
National spokesperson of the Everybody's Home campaign, Kate Colvin said, “Australia can kill two birds with one stone if it directs some of the massive stimulus spending at the coming budget to social housing. The idea behind the Everybody’s Home call for a social housing construction boom is to solve two crises emerging from the COVID recession: unemployment and homelessness.”
The open letter calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to commit significant new investment in social housing.
Spending on social housing and homelessness has been largely static for the past decade, at an annual rate of about $1.5 billion. Australia needs to build some 433,400 new homes to cover the current shortfall.
“For every dollar spent on social housing, there is a $1.30 boost to GDP. Social housing can be a powerful stimulus for our economy, while delivering much needed infrastructure,” said Ms Colvin.
“Australia has a track record of using social housing as a stimulatory measure. Post World War II social housing construction helped fuel our economic recovery and house our growing population. Following Cyclone Tracy and during the Global Financial Crisis federal government investment in social housing helped local economies rebuild.
“It wouldn’t just be building new homes, it would be creating the building blocks of our economic recovery.”
TAKE ACTION! Please click here to sign a letter to Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, calling for more investment in social housing in the lead up to the October 2020 budget.