Housing affordability in Australia has reached its worst-ever level and the problem won’t just go away if the market eases.

That’s why an unprecedented coalition of major national organisations is hosting a National Summit on Housing Affordability in Parliament House, Canberra from 27-29 June with more than 150 invited participants from across Australia.

The Summit is being organised by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), in association with the National Housing Alliance.

Prof. Julian Disney of the University of New South Wales has been invited to chair the Summit. He says:

“Affordable housing is crucial to Australia. Without it, people are impoverished, families and communities are eroded, jobs are lost and the economy is weakened.”

“A creeping crisis in affordability has been developing for many years. But recent huge price increases around the country have made it even more serious.”

During the last decade,

  • average house prices relative to income have almost doubled
  • the proportion of first homebuyers has fallen by about 30%
  • average monthly payments on new loans have increased by about 50%
  • the proportion of low-rent homes has fallen by about 15%
  • opportunities to rent public housing have been cut by about 20%.
  • More than 100 families with children are turned away each night from emergency refuges.

    Prof. Disney says:

    “Far-sighted and vigorous action is needed to prevent a poisoned legacy of debt, insecurity and hardship beingpassed to future generations.”

    “The Summit hosts believe that governments around Australia must rise to this challenge, which is as great as any facing Australia’s long-term future.”

    Some views from Summit hosts Ron Silberberg, Managing Director, Housing Industry Association: “Australia is caught in the grips of a housing affordability challenge that threatens the home ownership aspirations of countless numbers of Australians.”

    Sharan Burrow, President, Australian Council of Trade Unions: “Young working families can’t afford to buy their first home and many are simply giving up on the possibility.

    Cheaper housing requires government action to encourage investment in low-cost rental homes, build more public housing and improve the tax system.”

    MORE INFORMATION: http://www.housingsummit.org.au