Since January, UDIA WA has been supporting UDIA National’s advocacy efforts on the delivery and implementation of the Housing Affordability Future Fund (HAFF).

During this time UDIA National has been engaged across all sides of politics and government agencies (Labor, Liberal, Greens, Nationals, Independents, ASIC, National Land Supply and Affordability Council, State land bodies as well as Federal Treasury) to ensure:

  1. There is vital analysis on the capacity of the HAFF, the capacity of the market and a pathway for optimal use of HAFF funds to deliver affordable and social housing by community housing providers and private housing providers in coordination with Government.
  2. Make sure the undertaking to deliver a million homes in the next five years under the Accord, means all projects including affordable and social housing, need to be evaluated on whether they promote an enhanced mix of at-market (as well as affordable and social housing) for a balanced and diverse housing market that hits the target.
  3. Provide a conduit to all sides of politics to effectively establish the HAFF and UDIA National is currently involved in discussions across the parties.

In line with UDIA National recommendations Labor has made a number of concessions to the Greens including indexing the HAFF funds to CPI and mooting a review date in 2026 (which will ensure the rules are optimised earlier than the 2028 date). Indexing the HAFF funds to CPI will ensure a minimum of $500m is available each year for housing (instead of capping it at $500m).

Despite the above concessions to the Greens, Labor has not moved on the Greens two critical points:

  1. $2.5 Billion direct investment each year in affordable and social housing (instead of $500m indirect investment through market development); and
  2. Rental caps – which Labor cannot undertake without a COAG agreement and they have acknowledged will further constrain supply making the problem worse.

Currently the Greens have publicly said they will not pass the HAFF without rental caps and Labor has stated publicly they cannot agree to rental caps meaning either the Liberals will need to make a deal with Labor to save the HAFF or it will be agreed with the Greens with concessions or forced on to vote.

UDIA National will continue to actively communicate across the political divide to ensure there is a clear understanding of the options and opportunities.

Regardless of the outcome of the above, UDIA National has been pressing to resolve the core problem which is that no delivery of housing can occur unless there is a boost in supply and appropriate incentives to ensure projects are commercially viable where there is affordable housing involved.

Even if the HAFF does not pass, these issues must be solved and there are other mechanisms including incentives under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement which will enable Federal Government to incentivise housing supply using the current $1.6bn funding available or boost it to achieve similar aims to the HAFF.

UDIA National will provide further updates on the progress of the HAFF and our advocacy efforts towards its potential implementation.