Government support needed on all levels if property is to succeed after the pandemic

Inside Karl Stefanovic’s waterfront mansion

The Federal Government needs to provide more help to the housing industry. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

Managing the housing delivery systems as we come out of the pandemic will require a better grasp of policy impacts if Australia is not going to fail residents in their goals across the cities and regions.

Our system of local, state and federal governments presents the biggest challenge. A recent study by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) noted the assignment of policy responsibilities and functions within a geographically large federal system must take into account the functional nature of our systems.

MORE: Inside Karl Stefanovic’s waterfront mansion

Inside Karl Stefanovic’s waterfront mansion

The property market in many cities has boomed. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

While it is important to achieve a strong local dimension to housing systems, it does require input from all jurisdictions, and across the nation as a whole. The AHURI report suggested we need to rethink the structures and settings for housing policies to manage housing outcomes.

That is if we wish to facilitate faster supply responses; to better connect housing and other areas of policy activity; to deal with market failures and to avoid demand stimulus that raises prices or under-utilises existing residential spaces.

I’d suggest there is a strong case to refocus the leadership roles in housing policy strategy and delivery.

The Federal Government seems content to bask in the glory of the numbers who take up their housing initiatives. Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar boasts about the take-up of the first homebuyer low deposit scheme, along with the HomeBuilder scheme, but without any subsequent advised oversight and review of what is a dynamic but fraught marketplace.

It was interesting to see that Joe Biden’s White House held a summit last week on supply issues for the building of homes in the US, and the consequences on housing affordability that have arisen out of the pandemic.

His press secretary Jen Psaki noted it was because the pandemic had interrupted supply, and that shortages have led to a reduction of new building, which has led to an increase in housing prices.

It was an opportunity to bring the housing industry together in a multifaceted effort to address issues, Psaki said. The White House now has a task force led by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, along with groups like lumber contractors, union leaders, estate agents and affordable housing advocates.

Inside Karl Stefanovic’s waterfront mansion

The pandemic has hit property supply. Source: Penny Stephens.Source:News Corp Australia

It is a pity the Australian Government is not as proactive as we face many of the same issues.

Of course we have the Federal Government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), but it has been too slow and too quiet. Hopefully there might be a new era following the recent transition of its chair with Brendan Crotty handing the baton to Adrian Harrington, a senior executive at Charter Hall.

Next month’s The Daily Telegraph Bush Summit will shine a much needed light onto regional housing issues and why now is not the time for government complacency.

Originally published asTime to take a leaf out of the US play book?

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