Robert delivered a provocative and impassioned case for a re-think on the importance of increasing supply of affordable rental housing for all Australians.

Arguing that housing must be seen as vital national infrastructure, Rob explained how the benefit /cost ratio of housing provision was actually much higher than most road and other infrastructure projects and the long term social costs of ignoring the affordability crisis were much higher than currently appreciated.

He was frank in his telling that he had become disillusioned after after several years of lobbying and had realized that political priority for the substantial Federal Budget funding required was not likely to be forthcoming. A different approach was required and he made a strong case for business to step forward via private developers and the leading superannuation funds working together to create a new invest-able asset class in affordable rental housing projects.

These developments would not be subdivided and individually sold but rather would be retained as large privately owned multi-unit rental estates . He was realistic however that to ensure an invest-able return, all levels of Government would need to contribute.

For example the State Government could contribute the land component at a nominal long term leasehold basis, Local government should provide rate concessions, and the Commonwealth, one or other form of tax concessions.

Members warmly appreciated his insights and he fielded numerous questions.

Share this with your friends