Social housing repair program to keep tradies working

Labor is calling on the Morrison Government to create work for thousands of tradies in almost every suburb and town across Australia by investing half a billion dollars to fast-track urgent repairs to social housing.

This is what we would do if we were in Government right now.

Twenty-five per cent of Australia’s social housing needs urgent repair and maintenance. That’s 100,000 homes.

Some of these homes have problems such as mould, leaking roofs and water damage, while others are simply unfit for people to live in.

Repairs could start almost immediately, providing work for local plumbers, chippies, sparkies, plasterers and painters as well as companies that manufacture building supplies and materials. This would also provide opportunities for apprentices.

This should involve an immediate $500 million contribution from the Commonwealth and a partnership with the states, with the expectation they would contribute up to the same amount in new funding.

Housing construction is expected to plummet this financial year from 170,000 to as few as 125,000 new home builds.

This investment would be a win-win. It would provide work for local tradies, and fix homes that need to be fixed.

Data shows women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing demographic facing homelessness. Two-thirds of primary social housing tenants are women on low incomes.

A range of industry experts have called for more investment in social housing, including the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association, Property Council of Australia, Equity Economics and Commonwealth Bank.

This work needs to be done now.

Ahead of the next election, Labor will bring forward a comprehensive plan for the repair and construction of social housing.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Anthony Albanese:

“As someone who grew up in public housing, I know the difference it can make when you’ve got a roof over your head and a comfortable home.”

“This plan would provide work for tradies right across the country, from the city and suburbs to our rural and regional communities.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Housing Jason Clare:

“One of the fastest ways to get money back into the economy and tradies back on the tools is to invest in social housing.”

“With housing construction demand about to fall off a cliff, this is a no brainer. It means jobs for Australian workers and homes for those who need them most.”