Local government calls for coordinated approach to housing crisis

A more coordinated and collaborative approach across all levels of government is the key to addressing Australia’s affordable housing crisis, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said today.

Ahead of this week’s National Cabinet meeting focusing on planning reforms to facilitate more affordable housing, ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said increasing the supply of more affordable housing cannot be fixed through new land releases alone.

“It’s vital that we invest in building more liveable and sustainable communities for future generations,” Cr Scott said.

“That’s why we need all levels of government working together to coordinate, fund and build the physical and social infrastructure all Australians need – roads, parks, libraries, local services, schools, and hospitals.

Cr Scott also reinforced the importance of planning decisions being made locally.

“As the closest level of government to our communities, councils intimately know and understand what our communities need, especially of the need for increased affordable housing,” Cr Scott said.

“There’s no evidence to show that removing planning powers from councils is delivering more affordable housing.

“We know we get much better housing outcomes in our cities, towns and regions when decisions are made locally.”

Cr Scott said councils also need to be better supported to facilitate more housing.

“There’s a lot more councils can do to help solve Australia’s affordability housing crisis, with the right support, funding partnership and proper regulations in place.

“Many councils are already investing in innovative affordable housing solutions tailored to our local communities, but ALGA continues to advocate for at least $100 million per year fund to support us to play a more significant role in addressing Australia’s affordable housing crisis.

“Local governments need to see Federal Financial Assistance Grants restored to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue, to help us invest in building safer, stronger and healthier communities in a financially sustainable way.”