States and territories have agreed to work together with the federal government to address Australia’s housing and homelessness challenges.

Relevant federal, state and territory ministers met in Melbourne on Friday for the first time since October 2017.  

Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins said the meeting was a first step in identifying and reforming housing problems.  

“Housing is central to the wellbeing of all Australians, and all levels of government are committed to ensuring everyone can more easily access safe, affordable housing,” she said.

“All states and territories have agreed to work together on these reforms.”

Labor’s election pledge to establish a national housing and homelessness plan requires input and co-operation from all levels of government.

Once finalised, the plan will set out the short-, medium- and long-term goals to improve housing affordability and help more homeless Australians.

“These challenges are complex, but it is important everyone is working together to help solve them,” Ms Collins said.

The federal government’s housing agenda includes establishing help-to-buy and regional first-home buyer support schemes to support more Australians to purchase their own home. 

It also includes a $10 billion Housing Australia future fund that will build 30,000 social and affordable housing properties in its first five years. 

Ministers agreed to further catch-ups to to ensure the national homelessness plan progresses.