State Housing Strategy
South Australia must develop a State housing strategy to comply with the National Affordable Housing and Homelessness Agreement, by June 2019. Shelter SA has encouraged the State Government to develop the new strategy collaboratively with the human services sector, peak bodies and industry to address the housing system, not merely social and affordable housing. We would like to see a comprehensive plan that includes social and affordable growth targets, and addresses inclusionary zoning, stamp duty and planning to effect better affordability in the private rental and home ownership markets.
Inclusionary Zoning – should be mandatory and increased to between 30 and 50% with social housing targets, not just affordable, and State Government provided incentives for developers and landowners to achieve targets.
Planning system should require stakeholder engagement prior to design and submission for approval, to routinely include social and affordable housing outcomes.
The Affordable Homes Program is too small to make a difference, it is marketed poorly and homes need to stay on the market longer than 30 days to allow time for people to seek finance.
The First Home Owners Grant inflates house prices and should be discontinued.
People living on low incomes do not qualify to borrow enough money to purchase a home, and deposits are too large to achieve, so alternative finance products are required to make home ownership and/or equity possible. The bottom quintile household income of $23,712 per annum could borrow $190,920 from Homestart but would need a deposit of $23,885. Fortnightly repayments would be $384 which at 42% of household income are deemed unaffordable.
South Australia has the highest stamp duty in Australia and it should be replaced with a broad land tax.
People living on low incomes in the private rental market are a group of people experiencing the greatest financial hardship.
Continue with the State Government private rental assistance program, to provide bond guarantees for people living on low incomes to assist them to attain private rental.
State Government private rental liaison officer roles are critical to assist people living on low incomes to access private rental.
Renting with pets must become standard practice.
South Australia is lagging behind when it comes to private renter advice and advocacy.
South Australia has lost more than 20k public housing properties over the last 20 years, has more than 20k people on the waiting list and there are more than 20k South Australians receiving homelessness services every 12 months. For households in the bottom household income quintile (< $23,712) there are no affordable private rental dwellings in the State and the gap between an income-based rent, at 30% of household income, and private rental, is too great to be affordable.
State Government to cease selling off public housing and invest to increase net supply.
Strategically manage the public housing portfolio to grow the stock and improve its suitability to the current demographic in need.
Attend to the maintenance backlog.
Better protections are required for rooming house residents – https://www.sheltersa.asn.au/end-road-report-rooming-houses-operations-sa/ as identified by our research project.
Shelter SA is a member of National Shelter and we support their National policy platform.