Tackling Australia’s burgeoning housing crisis was front and centre of last night’s federal budget, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers announcing multiple measures including energy rebates and cost of living relief to assist homeowners and renters across the country.

Chalmers message was simple: “We intend to build more houses and deliver a better future for Australians.”

Low housing stock, rising inflation and repeated interest rate rises from the Reserve Bank have combined to keep property prices high and drive up rents, and experts have expressed concerns over the future of the housing market and security for the most vulnerable.

Professor Alan Morris of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at UTS described the current state as at “a crisis level and a real problem for Australians”.

He believes only an overhaul of policies and further support for lower income earners will help ease the situation.

“The government should increase revenue from taxation to support social and affordable housing,Morris told Central News.

“A real issue is private renting, AirBNB, negative gearing, and capital gains tax needs to be looked at because it is pushing up house prices.”

Last night’s budget from the Albanese Government announced a further $2 billion to social and affordable housing in the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s (NHFIC) liability cap.

I really feel like they have finally acknowledged how expensive and difficult it is to get a rental.

From July 1, the NHFIC will have $7.5 million to support the community with long term financial assistance for social and affordable rental homes, providing much needed security to the most vulnerable groups in our society.

The government will also address the renting sector shortfall by increasing the depreciation rate from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent for build-to-rent projects and increasing the borrowing cap by $2 billion for lenders. Through unlocking a further 150,000 rental properties over the next 10 years, the Government will provide a much-needed boost to the long-term rental market in Australia.

This boost to the rental market will provide young Australians with much needed hope that they can obtain more affordable and secure housing. After learning about the Government’s plans to support Australians in yesterday’s budget release, university student Ebonie Warton felt more confident about her to move out of home.

“It’s a relief honestly, I really feel like they have finally acknowledged how expensive and difficult it is to get a rental and these changes will help everyone,” she said.

The proposals could not come soon enough with the NHFIC’s State of the Nation’s Housing Report 2022-23 highlighting the slowdown of housing supplies with a shortfall expecting to reach 106,300 over the next five years.

The budget will provide further support for Australians by increasing wages by 4 per cent and cutting childcare costs by $1.2 million. There will also be an increase in maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15 per cent at a cost of $2.7 billion over five years. It will make 1.1 million households across the nation better off.

Main image by Philip Malis/Flickr