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Housing super plan like ‘putting out fire with fuel’, says University of Sydney expert

April 13, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

An urban planning and policy expert from the University of Sydney is available to comment on a proposal being considered by the Treasurer of the Federal Government to allow young people to use superannuation savings for a house deposit. Professor Nicole Gurran is available today and can be contacted directly for comment.

“Siphoning off super funds to ‘allow’ first homebuyers to afford spiraling house prices is a cynical and counter-productive proposal. It would serve only to increase housing demand, and may leave first homebuyers even more exposed in the case of a housing market downturn. This proposal is like trying to put out a fire with fuel.  “Research over more than a decade has demonstrated the need to rebalance Australia’s housing system by scaling up the non-profit affordable housing sector. This work shows that government support for institutional investment in affordable housing should be combined with appropriate levels of funding for public and community housing, to meet the ongoing needs of low and very low-income renters as well as moderate income aspiring homeowners. Other policy levers – particularly inclusionary planning requirements to secure affordable housing development opportunities – are a critical part of this mix. “Affordable home ownership and rental products delivered by a larger nonprofit housing sector and supported through institutional investment and the planning system will inoculate Australia’s housing market and critical building industry from the risks of boom/bust property cycles.”

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