Labor housing plan good for Tassie: Josh Willie

Tasmanian housing affordability, jobs and productivity will be helped by federal Labor’s plans, Shadow Housing Minister Josh Willie says.

Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Federal Labor has extended its plan to reform negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, and also wants to:

  • Limit borrowing by self-managed superannuation funds;
  • introduce a vacant property tax;
  • hike fees and penalties for foreign investors;
  • boost homelessness support; and
  • lift investment in affordable housing through a “bond aggregator”.

​The Turnbull Government is also planning a housing affordability package.

Much of the talk has been around Sydney and Melbourne prices.

Mr Willie said federal Labor’s plan should have a big impact in Tasmania, where households were among the poorest in the nation.

“Under Liberal governments, housing affordability and homelessness is heading towards crisis,” Mr Willie said.

“Social housing waiting lists have blown out by close to 1000 applicants in the past year.”

He said the average waiting time for priority applicants was 42 weeks.

“Demand in the private rental market is outstripping supply and weekly rents are skyrocketing,” Mr Willie said.

“In some instances, renters have been told they can bid for properties, which is actually illegal.”

State Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government had taken significant steps to improve the supply of affordable housing by simplifying building regulations and delivering a consistent statewide planning system.

“These reforms, coupled with our focus on delivering a strong economy that provides people with jobs, ensures that those who want to save and buy a property can do so and with less red tape and, therefore, lower costs than in other jurisdictions,” Mr Gutwein said.

“Furthermore, for those who want to build we are also providing the $20,000 First Home Builders Grant, which is the most attractive package in the country.

“It’s creating more work for builders, more work for tradies, stronger retail spending and increasing the supply of housing, which also helps housing affordability.”

He said the government needed to support vulnerable Tasmanians and was  investing about $80 million in an affordable housing strategy which would deliver an extra 900 homes and provide housing for 1600 Tasmanians.

“Our investment will leverage $235 million worth of spending in the Tasmanian economy and create up to 550 jobs,” Mr Gutwein said.

The story ‘Labor plan to aid Tassie’ first appeared on The Advocate.

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