Economy

Apr 11, 2017

Yes, Morrison’s talking sense on affordable housing

Scott Morrison has been working on the challenge of affordable and social housing amid a property boom, and the results aren't too shabby.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Amid the unfolding disaster that it housing policy, yesterday Treasurer Scott Morrison showed that he gets at least some issues on housing. The guts of Morrison's speech delivered to a housing body conference was really to confirm something previously flagged -- that the government wants to explore ways of getting private investment in social housing (low-cost rental housing for people who would otherwise struggle to obtain accommodation) and affordable housing (low-cost housing for low- and middle-income earners who face being priced out of the rental market, especially in areas that need their skills).

Like his notorious tax reform speech last year, you get the sense this speech was originally intended to have a bit more in the way of announceables. But much of what Morrison said about what is happening on social and affordable housing was eminently sensible and welcome. He accurately described the process by which soaring house prices are driving even young people on high incomes to rent, and keeping young people in rental accommodation longer than previously, meaning low income earners are, in turn, priced out of rental accommodation. 

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