Socialist candidate calls for national housing guarantee

Image: Socialist Alliance Far North Queensland/Facebook

Renee Lees, who is standing for Socialist Alliance in the Queensland Senate, said neither major party has put forward real solutions to the housing unaffordability crisis.

“We stand for a national housing guarantee, through a large-scale building program of public housing,” she said on May 19.

“Everybody deserves a guaranteed safe and stable home. We should not aim any lower.”

“Rents have gone up much faster than incomes over last year and fastest of all for low income households and those in regional areas — where rents rose 12.1%”, Lees said.

“There is massive shortfall — 101,800 dwellings — of social housing dwellings in Queensland. Federal funding for First Nations peoples’ housing, and in remote regions, has been declining since the 2011-2012 budget.

According to data provided by Everybody’s Home, a national campaign to fix the housing crisis, the current budget projected zero dollars over 2024–2025 for housing.

“While the upfront cost to provide housing is significant — $35 billion between now and 2035 according to The Australia Institute — remember the Coalition government just wasted $40 billion in JobKeeper giveaways to corporations that increased their profit margins during COVID-19,” Lees said.

“Meanwhile, Finland has embarked on ambitious expansion of public housing. It has experienced a net savings, the result of a huge boost in overall well-being.”