Over $11 billion in federal funding will assist in alleviating the housing crisis next financial year, which is one of many commitments made by the Albanese Government to the built environment in this year’s Federal Budget.

$9.3 billion of the sum will be invested into the creation and retrofitting of social housing, while $1 billion each has been set aside for crisis accommodation for domestic violence-affected citizens and housing infrastructure supply respectively. 

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the funding will ensure the planned upgrades to infrastructure and social housing will assist in reaching the target of 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

“$6.2 billion in new investments mean our $32 billion Homes for Australia plan will clear local infrastructure bottlenecks, provide more housing for students, fund more social and affordable housing, and we will also deliver better transport for better access to suburbs, cities and regions,” he says.

More homes means more affordable homes, and a better deal for buyers, builders and renters alike. We’ve already allocated $3.5 billion to address bottlenecks and slash red tape – and this Budget includes another $1 billion to help states and territories build more housing sooner.”

$20 million additional funding for planning to extend the rail line from the Western Sydney Aerotropolis to Macarthur has been announced, as has $1.4 billion to enhance rail connectivity between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. $101.9 million is committed to upgrade regional airports and remote airstrips, while $88.8 million will go towards 20,000 new fee‑free TAFE places to assist in delivering these projects.

The Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Mike Zorbas has endorsed all the funding announcements for housing.

“Safe, secure and well-built housing is something all Australians deserve, and we welcome the government’s commitment to providing more and better housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” he says.

“We strongly welcome this agreement and the additional funding. Hitting the housing targets now hinges on concerted federal, state and industry partnership on rezoning, faster approvals, more skilled workers and last mile infrastructure.”

The government has also outlined that it plans to place a requirement on Australian universities to increase the supply of purpose-built student accommodation, taking less strain off the wider rental market.

“For too long, enrolments have grown without being matched by an increase in student housing supply. This puts pressure on prices and rents, especially in our cities and suburbs,” Chalmers says.

“We have a more substantial, more sustainable approach. If universities want to take more international students, they must build more student accommodation. We will limit how many international students can be enrolled by each university based on a formula, including how much housing they build.”

The $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia policy will create new jobs in an effort to recalibrate the nation towards decarbonisation. The Australian Constructors Association says the funding could “dramatically” reduce the costs of construction if they opt to adopt modern methods of construction (MMC).

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies describes the $10.1 billion announced to cover the cost of project blowouts as a wake up call.

“By optimising project designs for manufacture and assembly and by standardising components of schools, hospitals, metro stations, bridges and other types of infrastructure across jurisdictions, a viable market will be created to support private sector investment in MMC manufacturing facilities,” he says.

“The potential economic benefits are substantial. Closing the productivity gap between construction and other industries could boost the economy by $56 billion annually. This could fund essential services like the NDIS and build new schools and hospitals nationwide.

“Investing in MMC might not be as glamorous as quantum computing or solar farms, but it could transform Australia’s construction sector. This would ensure the country not only gets the infrastructure it needs, but when it needs it, and at a cost it can afford.”