Extra bedroom solution proposed to alleviate shortage

The latest building approval data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that, on a trend, housing approvals fell 1.1 per cent to 12,510 approvals in March, taking the annual drop in approvals to 7.3 per cent. percent, the lowest trend approval rate since April 2012. .

The council expects new housing supply to average around 176,000 homes per year, and projects that 903,000 private homes and a further 40,000 social and affordable homes will be built over the five years in which the government aims to build 1.2 million of housing, a deficit of 257,000. .

“In total, the net supply of new homes on the market is expected to be 1.04 million homes over the council’s six-year projection horizon,” the report says, noting that the projections do not include state measures and territorial issues expected in response to the national housing agreement. . At the same time, demand is expected to increase by 1.08 million households.

“Council projections indicate that new market supply will be less than new demand over the next six years,” the report says. “As a result, housing affordability is expected to deteriorate further over the forecast horizon.”

But the report also found that there were 6 million “spare” rooms on the night of the 2021 census, and nearly 4 million households had two or more vacant rooms.

Spender said there was a short-term opportunity for the government to help ease the rental crisis.

“(It’s) actually pretty simple, and it’s something we should at least consider or look at (in the) short term,” he said. “How do we unlock those free rooms?”

Mr Spender said there were plenty of older people with spare rooms or a granny flat, but renting them out would mean losing the capital gains tax discount on the rented part of their home, which could have huge financial implications for people approaching to retirement.

“The potential impact on you financially is enormous,” he said.


Spender wants the government to remove that capital gains tax implication, at least in the short term, so people can rent out their spare rooms without facing a tax penalty to help free up more housing solutions for renters. It’s a solution that wouldn’t cost the federal government much money either.

“I’m in a community where 45 percent are renters. It’s a really difficult time for that community,” she said.

“If we can increase the supply… even just for the next two or three years, while we try to sort out the supply, I think that could make a real difference.”

Housing Minister Julie Collins acknowledged challenges in Australia’s housing market were ongoing and the government’s 1.2 million target was ambitious. In the October 2022-23 budget, the target was 1 million homes.

“Our party has never been afraid of a challenge,” he said in a speech introducing the State of the housing system report. “We do not pretend that it is not difficult to address the challenges that have been developing for decades. But we are trying.”

Collins said the government had invested $25 billion, including the creation of the $10 billion Australian Housing Future Fund, to address the housing crisis and build more social and affordable housing.

But beyond government spending, independent Senator Tammy Tyrell said the government needed to look at how immigrants could help fill the business shortage to build more housing.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone. I have been on a waiting list for public housing. I know what it’s like to have a pit in your stomach every day, not knowing if you’re going to have a roof over your head that night or not,” she said.


“You always need money for housing, but it’s a little redundant if there’s no one available to build it.”

Opposition housing spokesman Michael Sukkar said the housing crisis was worsening under the Labor government.

“Sadly, this government has completely run out of ideas and the only housing policies that support first-home buyers are the housing policies Labor inherited from the previous coalition government,” he said.