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The Government Is Too Busy Lining Its Pockets To Fix The Housing Crisis

We'd like to see the revenue generated from ending negative gearing reinvested into construction of high-quality, affordable housing.

13/03/2017 5:27 AM AEDT | Updated 14/03/2017 9:04 AM AEDT
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If there's one thing wealthy Australians like to share with those darn entitled millennials, it's advice on how they should go about buying their first home. For the likes of Barnaby Joyce, Scott Morrison and Michael Sukkar, there is no housing affordability crisis. Young people have just been going about entering the property market the wrong way.

Recently in Senate Estimates, under questioning from my colleague Peter Whish-Wilson, the head of the Treasury Department declared that the first hurdle could simply be the mindset of young people. It's different from the mindset that baby-boomers had when they bought their first home in the 1970s, you see, and could be one of the largest stumbling blocks millennials have in buying their first home for at least five times what their parents coughed up.

So, once you've readjusted your thinking on the matter, carefully follow these steps and in no time you'll be a real estate mogul with a property portfolio to rival the baby boomer you're currently renting from.

The fact is, the coalition front-bench love to sit in their ivory tower and talk about how young people can buy their first home, but they have no real solutions.

1. Don't discount the value of having a high-paying job when it comes to entering the property market. Now, to do this, you'll need a few things. Firstly, it's much easier if you have a free university education. Oh wait -- free uni ended after many of the Government's front bench graduated and took their pre-Parliamentary jobs at the big banks and corporate law firms.

Oh well! I mean, sure, once YOU climb that corporate ladder to the dizzying heights of a $54,869 annual salary, you'll have to start paying back your HELP fees, but that's where Mum and Dad come in, right?

2. That brings us to Malcolm Turnbull's solution; just ask your parents (with a six-figure bank balance) to take pity on you and your inability to enter the housing market. Next time they joke about redecorating your room when you finally fly the coop, perhaps you should ask them to slide a Hundred-G's your way for a house deposit?

Sure, that may be three times what they paid for the family home in 1981, but they've negatively geared the heck out of five other properties since then, so they're loaded, right?

3. Okay, now picture this: you've finally got that good job earning $54,869 or more in a capital city but you're still living at home. As well as your job you've got a partner, a good social circle and familial support network where you live. The ol' savings account is finally starting to get some meat on the bone, so you start looking at houses for sale online.

After filling in a mortgage calculator and realising that you'll need twice your income to cover home loan repayments for a house where you grew up, all you need to do is take Barnaby Joyce's advice and move to where the houses are cheaper. It's such a simple solution, even a person not particularly well versed in housing policy or the struggles of young people and modern home ownership could have come up with it.

The fact is, the coalition front-bench love to sit in their ivory tower and talk about how young people can buy their first home, but they have no real solutions. They won't touch things such as negative gearing, which helps those already in the property market to make a motza on entry-level properties, or capital gains tax.

An increasing number of Australian households are paying more than they can afford on either rent or a mortgage. On any given night 105,000 Australians are homeless -- up 17 percent since 2006. It's only going to get worse if we don't change our system.

Houses these days are seven times the average annual income. In the '80s, they were three times the average annual income, which is a major contributor to why more than half of all 25-34 year-olds are renting.

It has become far too hard for first-home buyers and renters to find quality housing near where they work, play and take their kids to school. This means long commutes, less time at home and higher transport costs.

An increasing number of Australian households are paying more than they can afford on either rent or a mortgage. On any given night 105,000 Australians are homeless -- up 17 percent since 2006. It's only going to get worse if we don't change our system.

Negative gearing overwhelmingly benefits wealthy investors and drives up prices for everyone. The Greens want to reform negative gearing to make it easier for first-home buyers to get into the market. We'd like to see the revenue generated from ending negative gearing reinvested into construction of high-quality, affordable housing. If we abolished the capital gains tax discount and grandfathered negative gearing, both of which only help wealthy investors while driving up the cost of housing, we would save $127.1 billion over 10 years.

There's plenty this government could be doing to make housing affordability a reality for young people, but the unfortunate reality is that they're just too damn busy lining their own pockets and running a protection racket for their rich mates.

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Over the next few weeks The Huffington Post Australia will run a series of daily blogs on housing affordability called The Great Australian Nightmare.

Everyone from senior government ministers to first-home buyers will have their say on what we at HuffPost Australia consider one of the biggest issues facing Australia.

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