(Australian Associated Press)
A federal Liberal MP is concerned about young Australians struggling to own homes.
In a debate over legislation to set up a $1 billion housing infrastructure fund, Tim Wilson said rates of home ownership were declining in all age groups, except for a pocket of Australians over the age of 65.
“If you’re a true conservative, then you understand the critical role of housing and how it should be at the fore of the minds of everybody in this place,” Mr Wilson told parliament on Wednesday.
“Home ownership isn’t just a place where people live, it is an investment in the status quo.”
The bill passed the lower house on Wednesday with Labor’s support.
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said the fund should be paired with additional support to bridge the gap between social housing operating costs and rent.
“By design, rent is cheaper to make it affordable,” he said.
The fund will provide local government, community housing providers and eligible applicants with finance to build new social housing.
The $1 billion will be appropriated over four years and includes $150 million already in the fund.
During the debate Mr Wilson reflected on his time as Human Rights Commissioner, where he witnessed indigenous communities struggling after being “displaced from their custom, their culture and their land”.
“Part of the enduring challenge we have, when you look at all of the well intentioned – but failed – policies designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,
“Is that we are constantly trying to repair the damage that we have done to rebuild the connection to that sense, that cultural understanding, of a place called home.
“The greatest thing we can do to lessen the burden is to have a private system that works.”