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posted by janrinok on Tuesday July 09, @01:38PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

There's a new bill before federal parliament calling for housing to be considered a fundamental human right.

The bill, introduced by independent federal parliamentarians Kylea Tink and David Pocock, would require the government to create a 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan.

One part of the bill states housing should be considered a fundamental human right for all Australians. Here's how this would work.

Since its election in 2022, the Albanese government has had to fight political battles to pass its housing policies.

This includes the Housing Australia Future Fund: a $10 billion fund to provide an annual $500 million for social and affordable rental housing. It passed the parliament last year.

There's also the "Help to Buy" shared equity scheme. Under this scheme, 10,000 households a year would be eligible for a government equity contribution of up to 40% of the purchase price of a new home. It's yet to pass the parliament.

But many in the community continue to struggle with unaffordable rents, barriers to home ownership and rising rates of homelessness.

Housing and homelessness problems are complex because they crossover different areas of policy and different levels of government. There are many agencies that do housing policy.

But so far, the government has not had a clear plan. Its election promise to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan is still under development. And at the moment, it does not appear to be addressing important policy areas like tax and finance.

[...] Tink and Pocock have also taken up our research and turned it into the National Housing and Homelessness Plan Bill.

The bill would require the housing minister of the day to develop and implement a ten year National Housing and Homelessness Plan. This would mean taking a view of housing policy beyond three-year election cycles.

The legislation would also set some basic directions for the government's plan, including "ensuring that everyone in Australia has adequate housing," and "preventing and ending homelessness." This reflects the legislation's human rights-based approach.

The legislation would also require the housing minister to be collaborative and establish some new sources of information and advice for government. This includes a "consumer council," including people with experience of homelessness. This would operate alongside the existing National Housing Supply and Affordability Council: an independent group providing the government with expert advice. The consumer council would be able to escalate matters directly to the minister to ensure it's heard.

The existing government agency Housing Australia would be nominated as the lead agency assisting the minister with the plan. A new government officer, the National Housing and Homelessness Advocate, would independently investigate housing policy issues and monitor the progress against the plan. The housing minister would also be required to periodically report to parliament on progress.

At the end of the ten years, the minister would be required to review and develop a new plan.

Importantly, it would still be for the government of the day to decide what's in the plan. The legislation sets objectives and directions, but not policy details. The legislation does not say, for example, "thou shalt repeal negative gearing"! One government might devise a more market-orientated plan, while another might plan for greater non-market housing provision.

[...] The bill formally recognizes housing as a human right for two reasons.

First, it serves as the constitutional basis for the legislation. The right to adequate housing is a human right under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Australia ratified almost 50 years ago.

This brings it within the parliament's "external affairs" power. The parliament relied on this power and the human right to housing when it passed the original legislation establishing the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (now Housing Australia). Basically, it gives the government the legal authority to make such a plan.

Secondly, an effective plan that's going to work across different policy areas and bring in the range of institutions needs a place to start. Human rights provides a way to organize the policy across all the different branches of government that need to be involved.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday July 09, @04:16PM (4 children)

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday July 09, @04:16PM (#1363558)

    Under this scheme, 10,000 households a year

    10.9 million houses in Australia and they're going to middleman a complicated scheme to "help" 0.09% of them. The other +99% of Australians can F themselves and pay even higher prices to make up for it. What matters is empire building, they'll have to hire at least 1000 government "servants" to administer a program of that size.

    It is a typical big government program.

    It will be interesting to see how they handle addiction. Right-to-housing always turns into right-to-crack-den or right-to-meth-lab in the USA.

    Its interesting that they'll try anything other than lowering demand by decreasing immigration or increasing supply by building more.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bloodnok on Tuesday July 09, @05:10PM (3 children)

    by bloodnok (2578) on Tuesday July 09, @05:10PM (#1363565)

    Under this scheme, 10,000 households a year...

    10.9 million houses in Australia and they're going to middleman a complicated scheme to "help" 0.09% of them...

    In a wealthy nation it should not be acceptable that anyone has to live on the streets.

    To take those statistics and look at them another way, the cost for those 10,000 households if paid by the 10.9 million would be less than 0.1% of their own housing costs. That hardly seems like an unfair burden. And given the significant costs to healthcare, policing, community services, etc that are directly attributable to the state of homelessness, there would be savings elsewhere.

    And of course this is a big government program. Just like policing, healthcare, public education, roads, etc. That is what government is for - to pay for stuff that is valuable to society that otherwise would not happen.

    __
    The major

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday July 10, @12:41PM (2 children)

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday July 10, @12:41PM (#1363641)

      My point is 100% of Australians are overpaying, so they're helping the 0.09% best politically corrected ones by taxing the other 99.9% then declaring victory, when nothing has been fixed and mostly a lot of money and effort will be wasted.

      Fix the supply side issues, fix the demand side issues, something, anything other than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 11, @04:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 11, @04:03PM (#1363775)

        Fix the supply side issues, fix the demand side issues, something, anything other than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

        vague answer is vague.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 11, @11:02PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @11:02PM (#1363832) Journal

        My point is 100% of Australians are overpaying

        Not your business, you aren't paying any taxes to the Australian govt, are you?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford