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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: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday July 10, @03:16AM (27 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 10, @03:16AM (#1363608) Journal

    private owners will not offer properties for rent anymore

    Very few can afford not to rent their properties, the Ozzie banks want their mortgage paid with around/over 8% interest today.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
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  • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday July 10, @12:58PM (26 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday July 10, @12:58PM (#1363642)

    Very few can afford not to rent their properties

    When the choice is between not earning anything because you don't put the property up for rent (i.e. losing money) or earning rents that are capped and eventually get overtaken by inflation, or you have to pay for damage done by tenants - not to mention a lawyer to have them thrown out (i.e. losing even more money), then you choose the lesser evil. Or you decide to live in the property. Or you sell the property yourself. But you sure as hell don't want to deal with tenancies anymore.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @07:16PM (25 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @07:16PM (#1363683)

      Being a landlord is a job. It's a risk-reward situation plain and simple. You had some excess capital, you converted it to rental property, you take a risk that the property won't rent, you take a risk that the renters won't pay, you take a risk that the renters will damage the property more than usual, you take a risk for everything your insurance doesn't cover, and you give away your profits for every bit of insurance you purchase. Real-estate values don't only go up, anymore. There's a risk your equity will decline, there's a risk your financing will become more expensive... if you hire a manager to deal with the day to day operations, not only are you giving away profits to the manager but you are taking a risk that the manager will do a poor job costing you far more than their salary.

      If all that risk is too much for you, don't invest in rental property.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 0, Redundant) by khallow on Wednesday July 10, @07:45PM (24 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 10, @07:45PM (#1363688) Journal

        Being a landlord is a job.

        It's not the state's duty to make a job suck or to increase the risk and cost of the job.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 10, @08:11PM (17 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 10, @08:11PM (#1363692)

          >>Being a landlord is a job.

          >It's not the state's duty to make a job suck or to increase the risk and cost of the job.

          Neither is it the state's job to coddle all the poor helpless landlords who can't deal with the changing social climate. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can't make money "landlording" find another job for yourself and your capital.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday July 11, @12:53AM (16 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @12:53AM (#1363707) Journal

            Neither is it the state's job to coddle all the poor helpless landlords who can't deal with the changing social climate. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can't make money "landlording" find another job for yourself and your capital.

            I typically consider it the state's job to uphold laws of the land, such as property rights. Having said that, you've already indicated an unintended consequence. If renting French property has this sort of drawback, then less people will bother - after all Rosco left the market. I get that there's a bunch of people of the opinion that France doesn't need landlords. Those people are insane and haven't thought through the consequences. I think we're already seeing some of that in the growth of the far right faction in recent years.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday July 11, @01:53AM (15 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday July 11, @01:53AM (#1363711)

              >I think we're already seeing some of that in the growth of the far right faction in recent years.

              Current election cycle notwithstanding?

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday July 11, @04:29AM (14 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @04:29AM (#1363726) Journal

                Current election cycle notwithstanding?

                Given that the RN (Rassemblement National) and allies went from 89 seats in the French National Assembly to 125 [msn.com], that would be unwise. But then again, would the RN being in charge be an "entirely bad thing"? Eh, Joe?

                If you can't be bothered to understand why not entirely bad things happen, then they happen more often.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday July 11, @12:07PM (13 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday July 11, @12:07PM (#1363748)

                  Change doesn't happen all at once, but there is a clear trend in France recently:

                  https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/08/world/europe/france-election-maps.html [nytimes.com]

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday July 13, @05:29AM (12 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 13, @05:29AM (#1363957) Journal
                    What was there supposed to be in that paywalled story? I already noted a real trend. Consider that the RN went from 8 seats in 2017 to 125 seats now. Your trend is what?
                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday July 13, @06:38PM (11 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday July 13, @06:38PM (#1363994)

                      Funny, wasn't paywalled to me, and I sure as hell don't subscribe.

                      Basically, the "far left" exceeds the "far right" by a significant margin in France, even after Marcon's bone headed snap elections which decimated his centrist party's influence.

                      --
                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday July 14, @06:24AM (10 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 14, @06:24AM (#1364049) Journal

                        Basically, the "far left" exceeds the "far right" by a significant margin in France, even after Marcon's bone headed snap elections which decimated his centrist party's influence.

                        You are merely making a comment about the present state - no trend. If we look at that trend instead, we see that the significant margin has shrunk significantly over recent years.

                        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday July 14, @11:44AM (9 children)

                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday July 14, @11:44AM (#1364066)

                          Just like global population will peak "some time this century" unless it doesn't, according to the best predictions.

                          --
                          🌻🌻 [google.com]
                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday July 14, @03:30PM (8 children)

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 14, @03:30PM (#1364099) Journal

                            Just like global population will peak "some time this century" unless it doesn't

                            Indeed. I think a few decades from now will be very educational. I don't see actual negative global population growth until some point around 2060-2100. But it will become increasingly obvious that the narrative of uncontrolled population growth is obsolete.

                            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday July 14, @08:38PM (7 children)

                              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday July 14, @08:38PM (#1364151)

                              Except that 8 billion people livin' 1980s US large is already catastrophic. And we're adding all kinds of energy usage like AI that apparently needs nuclear power to feed its needs..

                              --
                              🌻🌻 [google.com]
                              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 16, @05:52PM (6 children)

                                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 16, @05:52PM (#1364463) Journal
                                The hype is catastrophic, the reality falls far short. This reminds me of the narrative of backsliding by climate deniers - typically going through half a dozen transitions from climate change isn't happening to it's happening but no big deal. Here, we've abandoned the Population Bomb narrative of linear growth to claim without a shred of evidence that merely stable, fully developed world population isn't sustainable for reasons. When that narrative fails in a few decades, I imagine everyone will have moved on to the moral barrenness and other intangible woo. This, the debate will be settled.
                                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 16, @07:47PM (5 children)

                                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 16, @07:47PM (#1364475)

                                  Well, everything is a matter of taste... h. sapiens could very well manage through to a bug-paste utopia of 20 billion people with fuck-all for biodiversity.

                                  I prefer how things were when we had seals in the Caribbean... not so very long ago.

                                  --
                                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 16, @10:54PM (4 children)

                                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 16, @10:54PM (#1364492) Journal

                                    Well, everything is a matter of taste...

                                    Not reality.

                                    h. sapiens could very well manage through to a bug-paste utopia of 20 billion people with fuck-all for biodiversity.

                                    Why I prefer 8 billion developed world humans rather than 20 billion BPU enthusiasts. But please pray continue with all the nightmare scenarios that would happen, if we were to listen to JoeMerchant.

                                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 17, @12:02AM (3 children)

                                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 17, @12:02AM (#1364506)

                                      We are at 8 now, peak is predicted "some time this century". 20 is as good a guess as any. More developed (consumptive per capital) is a virtual certainty, whether via peaceful progress or the chaos of war. Surprisingly few people die in wars

                                      --
                                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday July 17, @12:55AM (2 children)

                                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 17, @12:55AM (#1364512) Journal

                                        20 is as good a guess as any.

                                        Unless, of course, you want to guess better. Then lower is better.

                                        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 17, @01:40AM (1 child)

                                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 17, @01:40AM (#1364517)

                                          Optimistic thinking doesn't have influence reality.

                                          --
                                          🌻🌻 [google.com]
                                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday July 17, @02:14AM

                                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 17, @02:14AM (#1364523) Journal

                                            Optimistic thinking doesn't have influence reality.

                                            Sure, but reality does influence itself.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 11, @01:45AM (5 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @01:45AM (#1363710) Journal

          Not state job to make a job easier, either. That is, unless is a state for landlords, tenants be damn'd.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday July 11, @04:33AM (4 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @04:33AM (#1363727) Journal

            Not state job to make a job easier, either.

            Is that a problem here? The crazy situation where some homeless people were stuffed in Rosco's rental property without his permission and then the state refused to compensate for damage caused is not a case of the state merely merely refusing to make the job easier.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 11, @06:40AM (3 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @06:40AM (#1363736) Journal

              The crazy situation where some homeless people were stuffed in Rosco's rental property without his permission

              The laws allowing the state to do that were public, weren't they?

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday July 11, @06:34PM (2 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @06:34PM (#1363800) Journal
                Meaning? While I have ranted on the value of rule of law, it's not the important thing here. Protection from state machination ranks pretty high up there too.

                Consider this hypothetical scenario: a real estate mogul teams up with the locals to pack vacant real estate in valuable locations with a team of homeless saboteurs. Once the place is trashed, buy at a discount and tear it down. Build new rental property with a much higher cap than what was there before (possibly with some help from those same locals)and sell it to a new owner.

                Lather, rinse, repeat.
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 11, @10:17PM (1 child)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 11, @10:17PM (#1363824) Journal

                  Meaning? While I have ranted on the value of rule of law, it's not the important thing here.

                  Meaning: information contributing to the risk of being a lessor in France was known in advance. The important thing is one is not excused based on the "I didn't know the law" argument.

                  Protection from state machination ranks pretty high up there too.

                  France has a particular flavor of welfare state [wikipedia.org] and this flavor goes back to 1830.
                  This flavor may drive you ranting, but your rant is inconsequential, as you aren't a French citizen.

                  Consider this hypothetical scenario:

                  I'll consider it when/if I'll buy a property in France. Until then, I have better things to do.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by khallow on Friday July 12, @04:35AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12, @04:35AM (#1363858) Journal

                    France has a particular flavor of welfare state [wikipedia.org] and this flavor goes back to 1830. This flavor may drive you ranting, but your rant is inconsequential, as you aren't a French citizen.

                    I'm fine with them being an educational moment for the rest of us. But to turn one's back on that lesson and copycat them?

                    I'll consider it when/if I'll buy a property in France. Until then, I have better things to do.

                    Such as make that empty pretense? I doubt you had a better thing to do when you wrote that post!