Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And the new Minister for Housing is...

It's taken awhile for the dust to settle, but after the coalition's re-election to government our Prime Minister has now announced his new federal Cabinet. And the new Minister for Housing is....

Well, this is awkward. It turns out there isn't one. Again.

Instead we'll have to settle for a Minister for Social Services who'll continue to carry responsibility for housing related welfare policies, delivered through our social housing systems and homelessness services. We expect this will include, at some point, the introduction of a compulsory rent deduction scheme for social housing tenancies, which will replace the current voluntary scheme.

So, congratulations to the Member for Pearce, the Hon. Christian Porter, who will continue as Minister for Social Services.
The Hon. Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services
Congratulations also to ACT Senator Zed Seselja, who will take on duties as the Assistant Minister for Social Services.
Senator Zeb Seselja, Assistant Minister for Social Services
But, alas, there's still no Minister for Housing. Given that social housing tenancies make up about 5% or less of Australia's total housing "consumption", and that the high cost of housing in the private market is the biggest contributing factor to Australia's chronic conditions of housing stress and homelessness, we're always on the lookout for a Ministerial portfolio that will steer the nation towards an overall housing strategy to improve affordability. Our custom is to consider the Prime Minister and Treasurer as our de facto Ministers for Housing, so congratulations to the Members for Wentworth and Cook, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull and the Hon. Scott Morrison, respectively.

You might recall the coalition's flagship policy this election was all about investment in small business owners. You might also recall the Brown Couch is full of admiration for those who have weighed up  the value of their borrowing power, realised that unaffordable home-ownership is not the be-all-and-end-all of existence, and decided to fund the development of a big idea into a business that actually produces something new and valuable instead. Of course, one of the best things that could happen for small business owners across Australia is for their housing to become affordable, and their tenancies to become stable and secure.

With this in mind, we'd like to offer our congratulations to the new Minister for Small Business, Member for Riverina the Hon Michael McCormack, too.
The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Small Business
Congratulations, Ministers. We look forward to working with you.

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