Bond University will facilitate and host a Rental Affordability Financiers Forum today (Thursday, March 27), which aims to prepare an action plan to build 1,000 new, affordable rental homes in Queensland by 2010.
Federal Minister for Housing The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP will address the forum, that will bring together local government, leading not-for-profit housing providers, major banks and developers to discuss an ‘agenda for action’ to achieve the Rudd government’s promise to build 100,000 new homes for low-income Australians over the next decade.
Discussions will centre on how to implement the government’s $600 million-plus National Rental Affordability Scheme, designed to encourage investment in cheap housing, with Mr Rudd keen for Queensland to take the lead.
The forum will be facilitated by Head of the Bond University Mirvac School of Sustainable Development and one of Australia’s top housing affordability experts, Professor George Earl.
Professor Earl said the aim of the forum is to achieve agreement on how to move forward in addressing Australia’s Housing Rental Affordability Crisis.
"With over one million Australians now spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent or a mortgage, the government recognises there is a need for urgent action," Professor Earl said.
Professor Earl said there were a number of issues he expects the forum will address, including concerns over the rate of return and limited capital gain for low income housing investors, taxation allowance complexities, and the reluctance of major banks to invest in cheap housing.
He said the government recognised the necessity for an independent authority to facilitate the national forum, given the vested interests of some of the parties participating.
"Bond University was the obvious choice given our unmatched expertise in the area of housing affordability and our recent research in this area," he said.