Submission to Everybody’s Home: People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis

April 15, 2024

Equitable Housing

In early 2024, Everybody’s Home convened a ‘People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis’. Per Capita’s submission discussed a lack of suitable and affordable housing across the entire spectrum of housing tenure, the flow on impacts including homelessness, the lack of social housing, the financialisation of home ownership and regulation of the rental market.

Our recommendations include:

  • Creating a coherent and ambitious framework for housing policy reform through the National Housing and Homelessness Plan should be a federal Government priority. The Plan has the potential to bring together previously siloed housing policy domains, including taxation, social housing, and rental regulations at multiple levels of government to create a path towards equitable housing outcomes for all. A further priority for the Plan should be the creation of a dedicated federal department of housing, reflecting that secure housing should be a key government responsibility.
  • The Commonwealth should review the operation of the Capital Gains Tax Discount and Negative Gearing as part of comprehensive tax reform, taking into consideration the distributional inequities embedded in investor-friendly taxation regimes, as well as the significant budgetary effects of revenue forgone from current arrangements.
  • The Commonwealth should review social housing funding arrangements with a view to addressing current and projected shortfalls. This should occur in the context of a broader re-commitment to the direct government provision of housing, particularly for low-income earners.
  • Finally, current Commonwealth Rent Assistance funding and eligibility should be reviewed and reformed by the Commonwealth. This should involve considering adjusting eligibility to reflect housing need, rather than restricting eligibility to recipients of income support payments. This must consider constitutional limitations surrounding federal support for renters.