Minister Morrison Acknowledges Housing Stress
by Pro Bono.
24th July 2015


Housing failures are at the centre of most social service challenges in Australia, the Federal Social Service Minister Scott Morrison warned in a speech in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The Minister said a lack of housing stock and affordability is a sign that federation "is failing us", in a speech on Positive Welfare and Compassionate Conservatism to the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne.

“You will find housing failures at the centre of most social service challenges. It is either a cause or consequence,” he said.

“We are spending more than $10 billion a year and making very little progress. The Commonwealth accounts for around 60 per cent of this expenditure and in 2014/15 this equates to $6.3 billion.

“There are few issues more important to ensuring the welfare of Australians than housing. Housing provides the stability and certainty needed for individuals and families to deal with the many challenges they face – unemployment, the breakdown of relationships, a place to care for those who need care, a place of refuge from violence and the list goes on.”

Morrison said housing is also the principal source of wealth for most families. Australians hold more than $5 trillion in real estate and dwellings.

“Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA) accounts for the majority of this investment at $4.2 billion, the balance being transfers to the states. CRA has been increasing at a rate of almost 7 per cent a year,” he said. 

“The supply of housing is simply not keeping up with demand. While record low interest rates is extending credit to more home purchasers, the lack of stock is forcing up prices.”

Social housing stock is static at around 400,000 units, with the only change being internal transfers from public housing to community housing stock.

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