Cook Government chasing its tail with band-aid housing solutions

The Cook Labor Government’s $5,000 cash splash to entice owners of vacant houses to rent out their properties is another band-aid measure from a government out of ideas.

Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin said the scheme was a knee-jerk reaction from a government that was hell-bent on showing it had no understanding of the private housing market.

“After pushing through their Residential Tenancies Act changes a few weeks ago, making it less attractive for property owners to rent out a house, they’re now turning to taxpayers to hand out grants and fix their mistake.

“These $5,000 payments do nothing to address the long-term structural problem – the mismatch of supply and demand.

“With rental yields as high as they currently are, I’m sceptical how many people who have had a home vacant for six months or more will suddenly change their plans and put their home up for rent for $5000.”

Mr Martin said the RTA changes had created significant new risks for renters.

“The cap on rent rises to once a year simply means renters will face a large rent hike once a year as homeowners have to factor in a full year’s worth of potential cost pressures on
their budgets,” he said.

“Government policy needs to make it as attractive as possible for homeowners to rent out their homes long-term. They’ve done the opposite of that. The RTA changes discourage homeowners from putting their homes up for rent.”

“Being able to put a nail in the wall and hang a picture means very little for people who can’t get into a home.

“We need to build more homes to keep pace with our state’s growth.

“We continue to hear industry groups pleading with the government to support home builders teetering on the edge of bankruptcy with loss-making jobs on the books, surely getting those homes finished and keeping those builders viable makes sense even to the Cook Government.

“Labor announced interest-free loans for builders in January but 124 days later not a single loan has been paid out, and more builders, such as Collier Homes, have gone under.”