UDIA NATIONAL ADVOCACY

$4.5B Housing and Construction Stimulus Pack Core to Economic Revival
A $4.5B housing stimulus fund that prompts homebuyers back into the market and a surge of housing and infrastructure construction serves as the centerpiece of a new plan from UDIA National to support the industry and Australia’s economic revival.

UDIA National today launched the economic revival plan to stimulate economic growth, jobs and wages by boosting housing construction following the economic effects of COVID-19.

The plan positions the industry as central to the nation’s economic prosperity and outlines a series of immediate steps for federal and state governments to take.

UDIA National is sending the plan and engaging with federal policymakers in a fresh push that complements the excellent work already being advanced at a state level.

“With the right mix of targeted incentives, regulatory reform and collaborative action by federal and state governments, the industry is key to super-charging the nation’s economic recovery,” said UDIA National President Simon Basheer.

“Now is the time to move from the trajectory of economic stabilisation to one of economic recovery with immediate federally led stimulus to re-kick start the housing market for the bounce back in jobs and economic activity.”

 

The main initiatives are:

  • A housing stimulus fund worth more than $4 billion that includes:
    • A ‘Home Starter” incentive for consumers of up to $50,000 dwelling construction that targets 60,000 new starts – at 10,000 per quarter – until the end of 2021
    • Prioritising and accelerating infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage and power that can be delivered within 12 months to support ‘shovel-ready’ housing – with the Commonwealth to table $1 billion to be matched by the states
    • A ‘red tape reduction fund’ to reward states and territories that cut major project assessment timeframes in half and kick start new projects
  • Commit to clearing the backlog of projects under assessment via the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, including:
    • All projects that entered the assessment regime prior to July 1, 2019, be guaranteed a decision by July 1, 2020
    • All projects that entered the assessment regime prior to January 1, 2020, be guaranteed a decision by October 1, 2020; and
    • All projects that entered the assessment regime post January 1, 2020, be guaranteed a decision by January 1, 2021.
  • Releasing a second tranche of 10,000 places under the First Home Buyers Deposit Gap Scheme, but exclusively geared towards the purchase and supply of new housing stock
  • Supporting the return of immigration levels to 200,000 for FY2021 and FY2022, subject to health protocols, as a key catalyst to drive demand and broader economic growth.

These initiatives sit alongside a suite of other actions that the Commonwealth and States can advance in partnership to reduce taxes, cut red tape, re-engage foreign capital and lower the cost of housing.

Launch of the document comes ahead of UDIA hosting the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, on UDIA TV on Tuesday 2 June at 1pmBookings essential.

 


UDIA National has released ‘Helping Australia Bounce Back’ – an advocacy document that details six strategic steps governments can take now to stimulate housing and construction, and how they fit in the context of our larger policy goals.

Housing is vital to the economic wellbeing of the nation and needs to be front-and-centre in the thinking of governments and policy makers in the months ahead.

UDIA National will engage with the Federal governments key Ministers and their advisors on the initiatives and making a clear case – as an industry central to Australia’s economic prosperity, we are well-positioned to drive growth, jobs, wages and activity.

Our solutions have been deliberately designed to represent a low barrier-to-entry for government and be easily triggered without substantial legislative or administrative work.

Our advocacy endeavours complement the sustained work being undertaken by state divisions of UDIA, who are working diligently with state governments on local solutions.

The six immediate steps being promoted to the Commonwealth Government are:

  1. Release a second tranche of the First Home Buyers Deposit Gap Scheme, but exclusively geared towards new stock
  2. Introduce guaranteed deadlines for major projects currently caught in the EPBC assessment regime
  3. Pull forward projects on the Infrastructure Australia priority list that have the dual benefit of stimulating infrastructure development and housing construction
  4. Incentivise the states to cut assessment times in half for major project approvals and remove regulatory barriers to ‘shovel-ready’ housing projects
  5. Continue the partnership between governments, financial regulators and financial institutions to ensure a continued flow of credit to homebuyers and mortgage holders – and APRA reconsider the loan serviceability buffer in its residential mortgage guidance
  6. Commonwealth and states to expand stamp duty exemption schemes, roll back barriers to foreign investment and boost build-to-rent to underpin new land release and off-the-plan stock.

A link to the document can be found here.