What’s in the 2024 Budget for housing and homelessness?

The 2024 Federal Budget (on Tuesday 14 May 2024) announced a number of funding measures targeted to the housing and homelessness sectors, as well as confirming previous funding and policy actions. In this Budget the Government champions its ongoing $32 billion plan to help deliver more homes, including $6.2 billion of new initiatives.

21 May 2024

The 2024 Budget supports substantial measures to improve housing in Australia, including an increased partnership with states and territories, with increased funding for homelessness support, financing for social and affordable housing, assistance for tenants in the private rental market, and a range of first home buyer programs. Importantly, there is also workforce support for construction and funding for enabling infrastructure, as well as ongoing evidence-based policy reform.
– Dr Michael Fotheringham, Managing Director AHURI

Funding for the National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness

A key announcement is the creation of the new National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness (NASHH) that will operate between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments. This national Agreement, which helps fund the states and territories providing social housing and homelessness services, will replace the existing National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, which will finish on 30 June 2024

Table 1: Australian Government payments to the states through the National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness


Total for 5 years
1,706 1,778 1,814 1,856 1,888 9,042

Under the NASHH the Government is offering the states and territories an additional $423.1 million over five years for social housing and homelessness services, bringing the total to $9.3 billion. For this new Agreement, the Commonwealth will double its dedicated funding allocation for homelessness services to $400 million a year – funding the states and territories must match.  

Together with the NASHH funding of $1.7 billion, in 2024–25 the Commonwealth will also provide the states and territories with $798.5 million through National Partnership payments for: HomeBuilder ($44.2m); Housing Australia Future Fund – Remote Indigenous Housing ($100m); Housing Support Program Priority Works Streams 1 and 2 ($450m) – to fund infrastructure projects to increase housing supply in well–located areas; Improving housing and essential services on Northern Territory Homelands ($40m); Northern Territory Remote Housing ($163m); and Social Impact Investments – People at risk of homelessness ($1.3m).

Further Government actions to increase social and affordable housing

The Government expects its investments in this Budget (and previous announcements) to deliver around 55,000 new social and affordable homes for lower income households.  

Housing Australia Future Fund 

The first $500 million minimum annual disbursement from the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) will be made in 2024–25. These funds will support social, affordable, and acute housing. The investments of the HAFF are managed by the Future Fund Board. Since inception to 31 March 2024, HAFF investments have returned 1.9 per cent. The HAFF was valued at $10.3 billion on 31 March 2024.

The Government will provide additional concessional financing of up to $1.9 billion to community housing providers and other charities to support delivery of new social and affordable dwellings under the Housing Australia Future Fund and the National Housing Accord. 

Expanding the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator program

The Government will expand the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator program by increasing Housing Australia’s liability cap by $2.5 billion to $10 billion, and lend an additional $3 billion to Housing Australia to support ongoing delivery of the program. As at 30 June 2024, the value of outstanding advances issued to Housing Australia from the line of credit is expected to be $80.4 million.

Expanding the National Housing Infrastructure Facility

The Government will provide an additional $1 billion to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, targeted toward crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence, and for youth.

Further social housing support

Increase capacity building support - $2 million (over three years from 2024–25) to extend Housing Australia’s existing capacity building program and for a new program to build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Housing Organisations.

Community–controlled housing model development $1 million (over two years from 2024–25). 

Household Energy Upgrades Fund In 2024–25 the Australian Government will provide funding of $69.9m to support energy performance upgrades to social housing. 

Assistance for renters

The Government is working with states and territories to strengthen renters’ rights through the Better Deal for Renters package.

Increases in Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) – the Commonwealth has increased CRA payments by 10 per cent (amounting to $384.3m extra in 2024–25). The Budget anticipates CRA payments will total $31.8 billion over the five years from 2023–24.

Encouraging foreign investment in Build-to-rent – the Government will allow foreign investors to purchase established Build to Rent developments and apply lower application fees to these investments, conditional on the property continuing to be operated as a Build to Rent development.

Increase student accommodation– increasing the availability of purpose-built student accommodation 2.1 million over four years from 2024–25.

Assistance to home buyers

Government investment in Help–to–buy scheme
The Government is introducing legislation to establish the Help to Buy scheme, which will support up to 40,000 eligible households to purchase a home by providing them an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent of the purchase price for new homes and 30 per cent for existing homes. 

Government guarantees for housing

The Australian Government has several programs to support individuals to enter the housing market sooner. These are administered by Housing Australia. 
The First Home Guarantee is designed to support eligible home buyers by providing a guarantee to participating lenders for up to 15 per cent of the property purchase price. 
The New Home Guarantee is designed to support eligible first home buyers by providing a guarantee to participating lenders for up to 15 per cent of the property purchase price. The New Home Guarantee concluded on 30 June 2022 but its guarantees issued in previous financial years remain active. 
The Family Home Guarantee is designed to support single parents and single legal guardians with dependents seeking to enter, or re–enter, the housing market. 
The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee is designed to support eligible home buyers to purchase in a regional location by providing a guarantee to participating lenders of up to 15 per cent of the property purchase price. 
The Home Equity Access Scheme (HEAS) is a voluntary arrangement which allows eligible older Australians to receive a non–taxable loan from the Australian Government. Since 1 July 2022, a No Negative Equity Guarantee applies to HEAS loans, limiting the recoverable debt to the equity in the property used to secure the loan.

Increasing housing construction workforce

To strengthen the numbers of skilled workers in the construction and housing sector, the Government is investing $88.8 million to deliver 20,000 additional Fee–Free TAFE and VET places in courses relevant to construction, including increased access to pre–apprenticeship programs. 
The Government will also provide $1.8 million to deliver streamlined skills assessments for around 1,900 migrants from comparable countries who wish to work in Australia’s housing construction industry. 
Targeted assistance to residential builders seeking Work Health and Safety accreditation – $7 million (over three years from 2023–24).
Grants to building industry peak employer associations to assist residential builders seeking Work Health and Safety accreditation – $6.2 million (over two years from 2024–25).

Housing infrastructure support

Housing Support Program – $1 billion (in 2023–24) additional funding for infrastructure required to enable new homes to be built (for example, connecting sewerage and water and roads), taking the Government’s total investment in the Program to $1.5 billion.

Funding for ongoing City Deals
The Budget also includes funding for previously established City Deals: Adelaide City Deal $96.2m; Geelong City Deal $90.5; Launceston City Deal $4.6m; Perth City Deal $82.2m; South East Queensland City Deal $151.2m; Townsville City Deal $69m; and Western Sydney City Deal $4.9m.

Funding for Northern Territory housing programs

Northern Territory Homelands and Housing funding includes: 

  • $698.4 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $2.0 billion over ten years from 2024–25) to reduce overcrowding in remote Northern Territory communities. The Northern Territory Government has committed to match the Commonwealth’s remote housing investment, bringing the total investment to $4.0 billion.
  • $120.0 million over three years from 2024–25 to deliver urgent repairs and maintenance of existing housing and essential infrastructure through the Northern Territory Homelands Federation Funding Agreement.
  • $20.0 million in 2023–24 to deliver an additional 49 houses under the Remote Housing Northern Territory Federation Funding Agreement, in partnership with and jointly funded by the Northern Territory Government, delivering a total of 206 houses under the one–year agreement.
  • $1.0 million over two years from 2024–25 to develop a sustainable Community–Controlled Housing Model to improve housing delivery and management in remote Northern Territory communities. 

Improved housing policy, research and data

Additional support for AHURI and for the Treasury to continue its work supporting development of evidence–based housing policy $20.8 million (over five years from 2024–25).

Budget funding increases are a good start - more remains to be done 

While all additional funding for affordable housing is welcomed by housing policy experts, Australia’s long term shortage of affordable housing (both for rent and to buy) remains a significant challenge. All levels of government must continue to address this challenge, utilising the full range of policy levers available.