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A national deal on housing will seek to speed up approvals for property projects that add new homes around major road and rail routes, as state and federal leaders negotiate new ways to boost supply.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is confident of securing pledges from state premiers to tackle key obstacles to new housing projects, naming zoning laws as a challenge for national cabinet when it meets in Brisbane next week.
Anthony Albanese has listed some of the key areas where the states will agree to tackle the housing crisis.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
With federal officials forecasting a shortage of 106,000 dwellings by 2027, the prime minister has been talking to premiers about further commitments on planning and zoning to underpin earlier agreements, including a $2 billion payment from Canberra to the states and territories in June.
While Albanese offered the $2 billion in federal cash so the states and territories could fund more social housing, he also wants an outcome in Brisbane on a separate National Housing Accord that was agreed last October with a stated goal of adding one million homes over five years.
“We want to make sure that all states and territories have plans to get there,” Albanese told parliament on Wednesday.
“That’s about land release, it’s about zoning, it’s about density – particularly around appropriate public transport routes – and it is about making sure that we increase supply because that is what will make the big difference.
“I must say that first ministers have been very positive and constructive about this. I’m confident that next week we will have some really good results and outcomes.”
The national cabinet meeting is also expected to agree on national principles on renters’ rights.
Albanese confirmed some of the details for the upcoming meeting after the independent MP for the Sydney seat of Wentworth, Allegra Spender, asked him to assure Australians he would get results from the national cabinet meeting.
“The stark truth is that housing has become a nightmare for many Australians, particularly young
people,” Spender said.
“But despite the states receiving an extra $2 billion in federal funding, we have no guarantees they will deliver on much-needed reforms.”
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation forecasts shortages of 9600 homes in Sydney, 1900 homes in Melbourne, 12,300 homes in Brisbane and 25,200 dwellings in Perth over the five years to 2027.
NSW Premier Chris Minns has promised to improve planning laws to increase housing supply but faced criticism from Urban Taskforce chief executive Tom Forrest last week over plans to allow higher buildings with more density around transport hubs.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is also seeking to stop urban sprawl by encouraging more construction in neighbourhoods close to central Melbourne, promising a “substantial rewrite of our planning laws” to increase supply.
The state plans complement the federal ambitions when Albanese is holding out against calls from the Greens to negotiate a national rent freeze or increase the size of the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which is stalled in the Senate.
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