Silver medal Budget for housing but better investment settings needed: Property Council

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the Federal Budget and its focus on housing, but warned further investment in housing and the removal of investment hurdles is still required for the country to hit its ambitious and essential housing targets.

Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Mike Zorbas said the $1 billion in new money for last mile infrastructure to unlock new housing supply was only a downpayment on the money needed to bridge the housing gap and better plan all aspects of our cities.

“The government’s continued focus on housing is welcome. This Budget contains solid investment in housing – particularly for the most vulnerable – and the better planning of our cities,” Mr Zorbas said.

“To hit 1.2 million homes by 2029, we need to improve investment settings, incentivise housing approvals, further boost gold medal housing options including retirement living, purpose-built student accommodation and build-to-rent housing and bring more tradies in from overseas to complement domestic capacity,” he said.

Mr Zorbas said it was particularly pleasing the Treasurer used his Budget speech to draw focus to the importance of housing Australian students.

“In a historic first, tonight’s Budget recognised the importance of purpose-built student accommodation as underpinning the strength of our tertiary education sector,” Mr Zorbas said.

“We need more student accommodation and so we need the purpose-built student accommodation sector to partner with universities on housing delivery without delay,” he said.

Given the cost-of-living challenges being faced by Australians, Mr Zorbas said the second consecutive increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance was welcome, but eligibility thresholds should be adjusted to include those living in retirement villages.

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