Master Builders Australia (MBA) has informed a Senate committee that reforms are needed to boost the national housing supply and make housing affordable.

Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch explains that the main challenge facing the nation is the massive shortfall in new housing; reducing this shortfall will be key to maintaining home ownership as a realistic aspiration rather than an unaffordable dream.

According to Mr Harnisch, supply side reforms must include measures to generate appropriate funding for social housing.

In their submission to the Senate Inquiry chaired by Senator Sam Dastyari, Master Builders has provided an 8-point Affordability Agenda addressing the structural barriers to increasing the housing supply. The plan calls for a commitment to a national housing affordability agenda to be agreed upon by federal, state and local governments through a reinvigorated COAG.

Master Builders’ eight point Affordability Agenda

National competition style payments to local councils that improve supply of adequate releasable land (both greenfield and brown field’) and implement more efficient building and planning approvals.

Agreed ‘master plans’ to deliver positive housing outcomes that cover urban consolidation and urban and regional infrastructure plans to deliver a housing mix to meet the needs of different demographics.

All local councils should develop Land Release Plans, which identify and provide an indicative forward schedule of ‘greenfield’ and ‘brownfield’ land over a rolling 10-year horizon that could be made available for housing development.

Make state and territory infrastructure charges subject to a housing affordability assessment to ensure that the supply of adequate housing stock is not being undermined. The Commonwealth should penalise states and territories that impose excessive developer charges through a reduction in transfer payments.

An online ‘InfoHub’ should be established by the Commonwealth to allow ready comparison between local councils and state and territory jurisdictions and the efficiency of their processes, developer charges and progressive land release schedules.