Given the many details detailed by so many of them on the apparent lack of financial resources needed to meet the housing needs in Australia, we can unfortunately predict that the new agreement will not contribute at all to increasing the supply of social and affordable housing. Indeed, this is tacitly acknowledged – the carefully crafted performance indicators of the agreement do not contain such a measure. Compared to the most recent previous agreements, three things are emerging as new or reissued. Yet, at a time of population growth and persistent housing shortages, the Commonwealth`s recent budget promise to maintain its current AUD 1.3 billion contribution to the housing agreement means that there has been no increase in real funding. It is not enough to cover, let alone increase, the costs of current services. Recent comments from Treasurer Scott Morrison and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar indicate that they believe the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) has not met its targets for increasing the number of social housing units. Read more: Australia must reinvigorate affordable housing and not remove it under the terms of the current NPAH 2015/17 agreement, the Commonwealth government will release $230 million over two years, supplemented by states and territories. However, states and territories have contributed more than the federal government, representing nearly $250 million per year to fund about 800 homeless services across Australia. As a result, there is less federal funding for new social and affordable housing than at any time in the past decade.
This highlights the differences in housing between jurisdictions and includes, in addition to those of the Commonwealth, priorities at the state level. Those published so far are very different in terms of ambition and specificity. It replaces the 10-year national agreement on affordable housing and a number of partnerships since 2008 to combat homelessness – the national partnership agreement to combat homelessness. The most recent agreement presents more achievable performance indicators than their predecessors. It also requires states to report on their annual financial contributions, a worthy step forward for transparency. NAHA is an agreement of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) that began on January 1, 2009 and launched a government approach to address the issue of affordable housing. Although the new agreement has positive directions, the need for funding remains a problem. Although funding is not increased, the Commonwealth hopes that states and territories will increase their resources. First, the political breadth.
Unlike its predecessors, the new agreement aims to improve access to housing “on the whole range of housing.” This applies to the entire range of residential real estate, from the construction of homes in crisis to the home. Within this spectrum, the Commonwealth has set several immediate priorities: the new agreement is essential to improve service delivery and enable COAG to implement economic and social reforms to support growth, prosperity and social cohesion in the future. A third feature is the requirement for states and territories to publish housing strategies each year. Stakeholders will be able to assess and compare the merits of these published projects. These will follow a new round of high-level bilateral agreements negotiated between each state and territory and the Commonwealth. NAHA is an agreement between the governments of the Commonwealth, state and territory of Australia, which is committed to achieving the following results: there is therefore a gap between the high objective of improving access to affordable, safe and sustainable housing and the funding that can support it. Until this funding gap is filled, all new national housing and homelessness agreements will remain essentially different in its name.