Extending the HomeBuilder program to include social and affordable housing could ease the risk of homelessness and create jobs according to national campaign to end homelessness Everybody’s Home.
The HomeBuilder scheme provides $25,000 for owner occupiers to build or renovate their homes, as part of the Federal Government’s push to support 140,000 direct jobs in the residential construction sector.
Everybody’s Home national spokesperson Kate Colvin said it makes excellent economic sense to also apply stimulus spending to social housing, which would both generate jobs and ease homelessness.
“The $100 billion stimulus impact of homebuilder is great news for construction. If we directed some of this to social housing, it would be even more powerful, because we could ease the threat of homelessness for those families left behind by the current housing boom,” Colvin said.
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“Every economist worth their salt agrees taxpayers receive a compelling return on their dollar when it is invested in social housing. We can create jobs, ease homelessness and reduce the demand on other government services such as hospitals and homeless shelters.
“The Federal Government can get maximum impact from every dollar they spend on social housing by encouraging the states to match their contribution and partner with them in social housing growth.”
Colvin said expanding the stimulus can create a powerful social dividend.
“Having a roof over your head is the foundation stone for re-entering the workforce or getting an education,” she said.
“The people who need homes are often women and children escaping family violence or people recovering from an unexpected illness or trauma.