Labor has called for a National Housing Stimulus Plan as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anne Stanley MP, Member for Werriwa, said “the pipeline of work in the housing construction industry is drying up and I fear this will result in a sharp decline in work for lots of tradespeople and small and family businesses in South West Sydney.
“South West Sydney is a major growth area, and failing to protect the housing construction industry will cause irreparable harm to home owners, tenants and tradespeople employed in the industry,” she said.
A National Housing Stimulus Plan should include governments working with the private sector and superannuation funds investing in more social and affordable housing and the repair and maintenance existing social housing.
“A specific program, to help the true heroes of this crisis; nurses, cleaners, aged care workers, supermarket workers, bus drivers, and other front-line workers, should also be developed,” said Ms Stanley.
“We need a plan that supports and creates jobs for tradies and more affordable housing for the key workers who were not able to stay home and stay safe during the pandemic.
“Those people in our community who are often lower-paid and travel long distances to work.
“Around the country, governments and super funds are already building some affordable rental accommodation for key workers, close to where they work. But a lot more can be done, and it can be done here in South West Sydney.
“The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear just how important housing is. “We often think about our home as our castle. Over the past two months, they have been a fortress. “The need for affordable and safer housing has never been so apparent,” she said. Before COVID-19 hit, many Australians were struggling to buy or rent a home:
Home ownership rates were at their lowest level in 60 years
Rental stress was through the roof, and
The last Census revealed more Australians were homeless than ever before
While housing has been key to this health crisis, it can also be a key part of economic recovery.“In times of economic shock, housing construction has played a vital role in national economic recovery.“Now is the time to act. The housing industry and unions have come together to call for action from the Government and National Cabinet.
“As the people of Werriwa go back to work, we can’t afford for lots of local tradies to be out of work. “Our economy won’t snap back if many of these small family businesses close,” said Ms Stanley.