Housing agreement signed but ‘no’ to negative gearing

Font Size:

An agreement between the state and territory governments could see rental and community housing become more affordable and readily available, but changes to negative gearing remain off the table.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has signed off on the agreement that will see the development of a new financing model, which it is hoped will encourage the building of more community housing, making rental of such properties more affordable and accessible. By grouping together finance requests, the states and territory can help investors access lower interest rates, making investment in affordable and community housing more likely and sustainable.

“One of the challenges that is faced by those developing affordable housing is access to longer-term, affordable finance,” Mr Morrison said.

“The access to capital is a critical issue for that sector and this would involve the states and Commonwealth working together to act as a bond aggregator to put finance into those developments.”

The model was developed as a result of recommendations from an affordable housing working group. The group also recommended the consideration of changes to zoning and planning rules, taxation and other concessions to improve housing affordability and supply.

Homelessness Australia chairwoman Jenny Smith welcomed the agreement, saying, “The sorts of devices being discussed to stimulate housing investment at the low end of the market are all the sorts of things we need.” 

Calls to wind back negative gearing were reiterated by some states, however, Mr Morrison said that this would be given no further consideration. “It is the Government’s view that the mum and dad investors, who actually provide the capital for the nation’s rental housing stock, if we were to withdraw that, then that has the only outcome of increasing rents,” Mr Morrison said.

William Harnisch, Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia, welcomed Mr Morrison’s stance, saying, “Negative gearing provides rental properties in regional and rural towns, where those workers who are mobile, and want to move around, have affordable accommodation.

“You can’t fix housing affordability if you don’t talk about it, yes some ideas will be contested, but it’s important that those matters do get raised and properly contested.”

However, Jenny Smith said that negative gearing needed to be revisited, given that it was not used to increase housing supply. “Ninety-three per cent of them are purchasing existing properties, they are not adding to the supply of housing which is part of the solution,” Ms Smith said.

“They are literally competing with first home buyers which means first home buyers are renting down, they are renting the properties that those on the lowest income need to be able to rent to put a roof over their heads.”

Read more at ABC.net.au

Opinion: Affordable housing crisis can’t wait for investment

With 15 per cent of those over 65 living in rented accommodation at any given time, there is definitely a need to not only increase the supply of affordable housing, but also to address the retirement income shortfall for those who do not own their homes.

As YourLifeChoices has commented before, those who do not own their own home and are dependent on an Age Pension or are living on a limited income, have very little chance of escaping poverty in retirement. Paying rent, be it to a private landlord or a housing association, makes living on a full single Age Pension of $22,800 per year impossible, even if Rent Allowance is also being received.

And ask anyone ‘fortunate’ enough to be living in government-subsidised accommodation what happens when the Age Pension is increased – that’s right – their rent in increased also. There is opportunity for a little financial breathing space to get ahead.

It’s the inability to access affordable housing that currently sees one-third of age pensioners living below the poverty line. It’s also the single biggest factor contributing to the rapid growth in the number of women over 55 experiencing homelessness.

According to Homelessness Australia, 18,740 over 55s received help from specialist homelessness services in 2015.  Research by the organisation also found that 64 per cent of older people living on the street are at risk of death within five years.

Funding for such services that help the homeless are provided via a $115 million partnership agreement between the Commonwealth and states and territories, with the current agreement set to expire mid next year. Mr Morrison says the Government will make an announcement on the next agreement when it is in a position to do so.

This is little comfort to those who do not know where they will be sleeping tonight.

So, while anything that can be done to improve access to affordable housing should be welcomed, there is a far more urgent need to address the issue of older Australians who simply can’t afford to put a roof over their heads.

What do you think? When policy is discussed and agreed, is the reality of how people are suffering and struggling overlooked? Should those who do not own their own home be paid a higher rate of Age Pension? Do you struggle to manage to pay rent and other living costs?

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Single, older women at risk of homelessness

Why are so many single, older women becoming homeless?

Senior bashing has become the new media sport

Claims that seniors are rorting tax and screwing younger generations. n

Not just Newstart Allowance that’s inadequate

The number of Australians living below the poverty line is increasing.

Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 45
  1. 0

    I am disgusted with our government and their appalling attitude to our elderly poverty.
    I read how much money the 3rd world arrivals are costing the Australian tax payer the majority of whom will be long term recipients of our social welfare system and never work.
    We the Australian tax payer should be alarmed at the governments forced redistribution
    of our citizens money to the 3rd world. We are funding these parasites retirement fund
    ‘From Cradle To Grave’ when the hard working former tax paying Australian Citizen gets
    trampled by our government in its hells bent determination to fund the 3rd world.
    Governments should not bring in people from the 3rd world and expect their citizens to pay for it all!

    • 0

      I find it disgusting that those Australians who’ve had a lifetime in this peaceful lucky country are struggling. And then to somehow blame immigrants is even more pathetic. 🙁 My 95 yo mother in law is just now having her shower with assistance from silver chain by one of your hated immigrants.

    • 0

      Jacqui….I would hardly call the Chinese and Indian immigrants of this country Third World. Many are multi-billionaires snapping up all our real estate and contributing to our inflated property market. Blame our government for this for allowing this to happen.

    • 0

      PAYEdmydues….Silver Chain is receiving government funding to hire migrants with poor English language skills. That is why Australians are not being employed. Don’t believe their staff do everything that is written on paper either. Hopefully, euthanasia will come in soon because I won’t be going to no nursing home.

    • 0

      PAYEdmydues keep a close eye on your mother in law and don’t think for a minute everything is done by the book. Also why do you not understand that things go wrong in ones life eg illness, marriage breakdowns etc some of us are struggling for some reason, call it unlucky. Why should immigrants be given more consideration than our unlucky in life Australians. We would work if we could, but jobs are being given to immigrants, and the reason would be they are cheaper to employ.

    • 0

      5 BILLION Dollars Missing in Welfare Fraud ??? 🙁 I haven’t got a clue where that could be ??? 🙁

    • 0

      It’s hidden under Bill Shortens bed parti, ask Mick, he will confirm it.

    • 0

      4 Billion of it is here !! And a Billion gone to UN 🙂 🙂

    • 0

      $5 billion? How are those figures arrived at? Two million pensioners would need to be into the government for – oh – coupla grand each… how does that figure. If 1% of SOCIAL SECURITY recipients are defrauding the system – and that’s about the accepted figure – and there are around 3.5 million unemployed and pensioners – 35,000 people defrauding the system… one hell of a lot…. and those $35000 would need to be copping $143,000 each…

      Frankly I don’t believe it – but then I keep forgetting that all those DSP recipients are fraudulent, and all those unemployed are fraudulent, and even some of your working pensioners are robbing the piggy bank…


  2. 0

    The majority of our politicians have heavily invested in properties through negative gearing. That is why they want to hang on to it. Sickening…..

  3. 0

    ” agreement that will see the development of a new financing model, which it is hoped will encourage the building of more community housing,”

    That says it all – another paper tiger, pushed to the back burner, reviewed by a committee in infinitum… one day might produce 5% of the trumpeted outcome and in the meantime rents spiral upwards …. like breeding elephants……

    • 0

      We shall just see house prices going up. Whenever governement steps in, first home buyer grant, etc that is just added onto the final cost of the house not taken off so the only people who benefit are the builders.

  4. 0

    We should be at least providing rooms or even dormitory beds for the homeless. Maybe we cannot afford to provide each of them with their own home?

    • 0

      I remember when every town had a Masonic Hall.or CWA hall. Put some stretchers in and employ one person to be in charge.

      We could do with a few hospitals for people ill with mental illness too.

      When did it become acceptable to just throw mentally ill people out in the streets?

    • 0

      Got ’em here – wondered why the local hall wasn’t opened when the highway was closed due to massive fires….. people wandering around trying to get a cup of tea and a bite….

      The inimitable Bob Carr, with a little help from his friends in either party, flogged off the prime property that the mental institutions rested on – Little Bay, Gladesville – you name it…. now of course that property is worth maybe billions and he got a few mil for it….

      Governments are always turkeys – they never have to worry about money as long as we, the long-suffering public, are out there to be plucked….

      It’s a disgrace with many mentally ill people living on the streets or in slum housing, surrounded by sometimes evil and sometimes mentally damaged neighbours… I’m surprised there aren’t more fights and deaths….

      My brother, a serious schiz, died of a heart attack while fighting a neighbour in Houso Country…. no country for old men and women…..

  5. 0

    The housing situation in Australia is utterly shameful!

    What are politicians doing about it? Absolutely nothing! They are already living in their dream homes why should they give a toss about the homeless, the disadvantaged and the elderly? Even working families have very little chance of ever owning their own homes!

    Shame on you Australian politicians of all political persuasions – not one of you has the balls to tackle this very serious issue!

    • 0

      And what are you doing about it?

    • 0

      Working families can still buy a reasonably priced home but not exactly in prime positions.

      All the young I know getting married are spending tens of thousands on the wedding and then luxury overseas honeymoons.

      I think the poor unable to rent or buy is overdone.

      15% through illness or adversity are renting.

      Rents are falling in many places. If I was that hard up I’d move to cheaper accommodation and either take in a boarder or house share.

      The government will waste millions talking and writing about this and nothing will get done.

      Some cheap rental retirement villages built and run by the Smith Family or Salvation Army would be good.

    • 0

      Thing is, Rae – the non-prime areas come with a cost – the cost of daily travel to work alone – added up over 20-30 years – equals a better house closer in…. but you can’t get the banks to see that. Of course, those costs of travel will only escalate as time goes by, like all costs of living… so buying far out is a furphy in reality, especially with the Greater Sydney Basin area slowly but surely running out of space.

      I’ve long said that with mountains to the west, north, and ocean to the east and rugged country to the Wollongong south – the only way for expansion is into the Sydney-Canberra Corridor – which will upset your Southern Heeghlanders to the max…. all that commuter low-life etc…. raises the rates…..

    • 0

      Without massive forethought and careful planning and so forth, such areas as – say Camden/Penrith – which are developing like a virus – will essentially be infrastructure deserts with next to no transport infrastructure and so forth – leading inevitably, one day in the not too distant future, to a kind of domicile suburb wasteland.

      I see no plans, for instance, for any train services, and the cost of travel to and from plus parking plus train tickets is climbing daily, or so it seems.

      INFRASTRUCTURE – that is what is needed first and foremost – then you can build out….

    • 0

      TREBOR I was thinking more of retirees who do not have to live in expensive areas close to jobs.

      The article stated 15% which isn’t bad. A lot of those retirees chose to live in prime locations and pay high rents. Many young workers are doing so now.

      For example a nice unit in Rozelle or Balmain will cost about $1100 a week.

      Those people never planned for post work and obviously if struggling on a government pension will not be able to stay there.

      I could not afford to live here in my own house if I had not planned and saved for retirement. Rates and insurance and water come to $6000 a year and thats before the land tax on the cards.

      There are spasmodic buses here but the public transport is pretty bleak.

      There hasn’t really been any Urban Planning or Development much to write about. Lots of meetings and reports etc but bugger all else. They waste millions on achieving nothing much.

    • 0

      Sorry, Rae – I do go on a bit…. good point. I was more thinking of the increasing number seeking to own their own home, and some of the pitfalls in that.

      You sound like you live down the road from me – we get a couple of buses a day, but we are right on the freeway… right on the river and in the midst of buying a boat…. 23 ft yacht with a diesel motor – no sails but hey – who needs sails for a while?

      I seriously worry about the runaway expansion of such areas as I cited above – and the terrible forward planning. Seems the governments haven’t enough cash to do the real jobs – gotta fund all those QANGOs. Bloke here doing tiling said that The Guv in Macca Street had cut off funds for the highway north of here, which is why it’s so slow in development. Good thing I only drive to Queensland once in a blue moon to see the grand-kids.

  6. 0

    I so hope this does come to fruition. At present we can just afford our rental,
    but cannot afford to go on holidays anymore. If anything happened to my husband
    I could not afford the rent on one pension!!

  7. 0

    I agree with you Jackie and will not go into a nursing home where the staff cannot speak fluent English. I have worked in a nursing home and saw the fright on the faces of our elderly when they were assisted by a migrant worker, she was stressed to the max because the worker would not or could not understand her needs. It is disgraceful our government of the day needs to wake up big time. Bring on euthanasia, agree, but I have a strong feeling that is what our governments want, no elderly sick people to take care of.

    • 0

      Dear God, people – have they worn you down so much that you actually discuss euthanasia as a viable option? If you read one of my books, I discuss the propensity amongst young Aboriginal men to discuss the relative merits of various prisons…. lauding those that are essentially farms and not jails… like window-shopping for a holiday venue….

      And* now you discuss euthanasia without a moment’s pause?

      *opening a sentence with ‘and’ designed for emphasis and to spite a child marker at UNE who thought the use of it by the New England Journal of Medicine was not ‘correct’…. yardle…… (face palm implied) academics…. Jesus God….

    • 0

      Trebor, well with things going to pot some ppl would prefer it.
      So i think if thats what they want i beleive it to be their right.
      Who are we to say NO you can’t do that.
      Thats their choice, if they want to go down that road thats their business i think. why should i be there to dictate to them.
      but its a fact The elderly are not being cared for enough i feel.
      Housing had gone down hill for many many years.
      Governments only helping themselves, and looking after themselves instead of investing in us! There the problem lies.
      and looking after the 3rd world immigrants.
      My family came here as immigrants, but that was after the war. and there were jobs Galore, and they didn’t speak english, and they coped.
      Tho it was hard, cause much communication was lost. But now there are NO jobs not even for our young, Where do the immigrants work…..NO where. they will be on welfare for ages, and at the elderly expense. ? somebody has not got it worked out?

  8. 0

    There is a basic percentage shown here for renters. It states that “15% of those over 65 live in rented accommodation” but I think we need more clarification. How many of those are still working? How many are solely reliant on an Age Pension? How many are actually paying less rent than the rent subsidy? I agree that something needs to be done for some people but to quote a bare statistic that is by itself meaningless doesn’t help anyone.

    If politicians are serious about stopping negative gearing then let them show the way by firstly divesting themselves of all investment properties. Only then can we start to believe them when they tell us that negative gearing is the root cause of all house price problems. Here is a link where you can look up your favourite politician to check if they have an investment property or not. It is noted that a lot of politicians own a house where they live away from Canberra but also include a Canberra residence as a “home”. I can’t accept that anybody can own two “homes” and not claim one of them is an investment.

  9. 0

    Labor’s policy for negative gearing is simple and I thought fair. They simply want to set a date, say July 2017 and all those with negative geared houses get to keep them and go on their merry way in life. All they are suggesting for argument’s sake is from say July 2017 only new houses can be negative geared, which should increase supply. However this government with the help of the Murdoch press has preached a continuous lie that rents will go up. Not true. When they ceased negative gearing once before, rents in Sydney marginally went up simply cause more people wanted to live in Sydney. The main reason this government doesn’t want to end/change negative gearing is simple. There is probably not one LNP minister who doesn’t negative gear at least one other home. Dutton has just purchased his 6th property to negative gear. With this government it is simply the born to rule class and the rest of us are regarded as the great unwashed.

    • 0

      Oh dear mareela, I checked the Politician’s Register and clicked on the first name. No investment property held in the name of Abbott, The Hon Tony, Member for Warringah, NSW. My other problem with your post is that you claim that the Murdoch Press is lying when they say rents will rise and then proceed to confirm this with your comment rents marginally increased the last time they cancelled negative gearing.

    • 0

      You’re obfuscating, OM – mareela didn’t mention Abbort and clearly said the rents went up after NG was dumped for another reason…. not because NG was dumped but simply because of supply and demand.

      I would like to refer you all to my long-stated affirmative statement that the advent of the Mandatory Dual Income Family (MADIF), in my direct personal experience, cause an almost immediate doubling of house prices and that has now gone on and on for as long as Affirmative Action has…..

      Just saying – the answer could be in a reversion to viewing the family as the socio-economic unit and not each working individual in it…..

    • 0

      ADDS:- Whichever way you cook this one injustice will prevail… if you boot women (and some men) out of the workforce you will be discriminating, but continuing the MADIF in its present form places those not in a MADIF in a position where they cannot compete…. it’s a vicious cycle like every bit of social engineering…

    • 0

      No TREBOR, I’m not trying to obfuscate, mareela made the comment that: “There is probably not one LNP minister who doesn’t negative gear at least one other home”. I merely clicked on the first politician on the list and, Bingo!, no negative gearing there. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to go down the lists to show that not all Coalition members “negative gear at least one other home”. Mareela also said the rents went up after accusing someone of lying who said exactly the same thing. The reason rents went up in this case is irrelevant

      I agree totally with you that MADIF is probably a big part of the cause of the property bubble. I had not heard of that theory before but it makes absolute perfect sense. Our parents were a part of the tradition that, once wed, a wife stayed at home. When I first started work, any woman who got married had to resign from the public service. I don’t agree with that but that was the rule back then. If that same rule was in place now, unemployment would be lower and house prices might be more stable.

      I wonder if it’s a case of supply and demand. Have governments released enough land for building? Maybe councils are a part of the problem because of the costs they slap onto developers. Developers don’t seem to care as they add councils’ costs onto the completed estate.

    • 0

      Labor’s policy on negative gearing simply will not work. It will help high income earners at the expense of low ones. Who would buy a house with a limited resale market for start? Rents will go through the roof as investors invest elsewhere and demand outstrips supply.

    • 0

      Read my rundown on infrastructure deserts above, OM – when land is release there is mostly not much real infrastructure planning – the kind of things I mean are transport, rail and so forth to service those areas without congestion and costly travel to rail-heads (dang – sounds like the US Civil War) – so even the release of land very often places the buyers in the trap of their housing cost being enhanced by transport costs on top to get to work to sustain mortgage etc.

      I was of the mind that Big Tony was alluding to such infrastructure in his coat of The Infrastructure Prime Minister… although other infrastructure needs looking at on the national basis…. but in the context of this discussion, the relative lack of infrastructure in these burgeoning areas is a future disaster waiting to happen. Costly to maintain roads under that kind of pressure – not much forethought in providing sufficient road or rail corridors that can cope – and with declining real employment….. I can hear the bells tolling in the distance already…….

      I’m glad I live in the bush….. now let me review those boat ads so I can drop it in the river two minutes away and ease away the time, throw in a line and not even bother if the fish don’t bite.. …… I’d rather be with Clancy, out there on The Overflow…

    • 0

      … and I WILL add to that the ‘privatisation’ of freeways and so forth, which drive up the costs of transport astronomically….. and for the profit of a few insiders…. and the burgeoning costs of ‘government’ at all levels, including local…..

      ALL these things lead to higher and higher costs of living, especially in the developing areas of major cities – and thus feed the never-ending cycles of cost increase = income increases AND of joblessness and poverty as a result.

      Stoopid is as stoopid does – as they say down in Green Bow…

      Me? I’m just a humble Professor Emeritus of Life Studies, Ardknox College….

  10. 0

    Old Man you didn’t really read my post. I never mentioned Abbott and I also said rents went up marginally in Sydney NOT the whole of Australia. Also politicians on both sides probably have negative geared properties, however, the current government is the LNP and are the ones that could do something to wind back NG but due to the majority of ministers having NG properties have absolutely NO interest in housing affordability. The opposition can do nothing but the government can if it chooses. Perhaps you could read my post again and this time put your glasses on.

    • 0

      Thanks mareela, yes I reread your post and don’t wish to change my response. No, you didn’t mention Abbott, you said one LNP Minister. Well, if you check this Minister; Frydenberg, The Hon Josh, Member for Kooyong, VIC you won’t find an investment property nor will you find one with; Hunt, The Hon Greg, Member for Flinders, VIC, Keenan, The Hon Michael, Member for Stirling, WA and there are more. My point is that you have stretched the truth.

      As regards rents changing if negative gearing is removed may I suggest you read this article:
      Mareela I don’t mind a sensible debate in here but I don’t like debating people who wish to use falsehoods to support their position.

    • 0

      Rents went up in many places as well as Sydney. I had a rental property in a reginal town come vacant at the time. I had people phoning me in tears offerring me lots more than my asking rent and offerring to oay six months in advance. I certainly don’t want to see that happen again.

      Property has to be a good investment and even with negative gearing it is only marginal with the hope that property prices will keep on rising for some gain.

    • 0

      And therein lies part of the problem, Bonny – this perceived need to gain from future increase ad infinitum… and not just get by while retaining an asset on the income generated from rent. Then we have the conundrum of negative gearing and capital gains concession – and as a very good accountant said to me “Should be one or the other – if you get NG, you don’t get a concession on CG, and vice versa.”

      All these concessions partly drive the upward push of this market, including that they make it attractive in the first place – and if it were designed ONLY for new housing, perhaps Labor has a point – but we all know that which ever way it goes, the well-heeled will have inside running.

Load More Comments



continue reading

Health news

What a home DNA test can’t tell you

Genetic testing is easier and more popular than ever. Swab tests and saliva tests can be sent to your home,...


Social connection boosts fitness app use

Most of us have experienced the benefits of exercising with a friend or loved one, it's more fun and it...

Health Insurance

Older Aussies with health insurance are being hit by rising gap fees

Did you know that out-of-pocket expenses for hospital treatments have risen by a whopping 5.1 per cent over the past...


Experts reveal the pros and cons of artificial lawn

There’s been a boom in artificial grass during lockdown, but horticulturists are urging gardeners to grow natural lawns to help...

Health news

Massive blood test trial offers hope of earlier cancer diagnoses

One blood test could detect 50 forms of cancers if the trial of a liquid biopsy undertaken by the British...


Being good at your job won't stop age discrimination

Jelle Lössbroek, Utrecht University How old you are could be more important to some employers than your experience, or your...

Centrelink News

Centrelink staff not ‘productive for customers’, report finds

A survey of Centrelink staff has revealed that staff feel pressured to meet performance targets, which often results in them...


The trends from 2020 that support a positive outlook in retirement

For most of us, the pandemic changed our lives in a big way. We were forced to dig deep and...