AHURI policy and stakeholder engagement

Major inquiries, working groups, committees and events

3 October 2019

In addition to our wide-ranging research agenda and conference and events program, it has been a busy year for AHURI as we continue to contribute to major inquiries, working groups, committees and events across housing and urban policy. Significant engagements include a submission the senate inquiry into the ‘National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Amendment Bill 2019’;  supporting an Infrastructure Australia review to understand urban policy leaders perspectives on the Australian Government’s work in cities, and joining the Planning Institute or Australia’s 2020 Congress Advisory Committee.

Read our snapshot of some of AHURI’s engagements over the past few months.

Submissions to government inquiries

AHURI has made written submissions to three recent senate enquiries on ‘adequacy of Newstart and related payments’; the ‘Social Services Amendment Bill’ (Cashless debit card), and the ‘National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Amendment Bill 2019’ which includes the development of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, designed to assist first home buyers enter home ownership earlier, as well as a a research function to examine housing demand, supply and affordability in Australia. AHURI Executive Director Dr Michael Fotheringham was also invited to provide testimony at the recent public hearing on this Amendment Bill. All submissions, including AHURI’s can be viewed on the Inquiry page of the Parliament of Australia website.

Submissions have also been provided to a Legislative review of Residential Tenancies Regulation in NSW and participated in a consultation with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on ‘Building Better Apartments’.

Committees and Advisory bodies

We are pleased to continue to play an active role in a number of key national and state based committees and advisory groups. In addition to continuing on the Queensland Housing Supply Expert Panel, Dr Fotheringham has recently been appointed to the Planning Institute of Australia 2020 Congress Advisory Committee, the Urban Futures Sector Research Advisory Group and will play a key role in delivering a housing and homelessness roundtable with key national stakeholders for the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors on World Homelessness Day, 10 October. The Council has been active in calling on governments to deliver more social and affordable housing in inner-cities, and prioritising it as key infrastructure – referencing AHURI’s Inquiry on the topic in its recent policy statement.

Advice to government

Beyond official government inquiries, AHURI continues to provide evidence-informed advice to governments at all levels in the development of policy and strategy including:

  • Victorian Auditor General – provided advice and contextual background to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office in preparation for their review of Victoria’s homelessness response
  • Infrastructure Australia — supporting a review canvassing urban policy leaders to be able to understand perspectives on the Australian Government’s work in cities, including the Smart Cities Plan, City Deals and the National Cities Performance Framework.
  • Queensland Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning – consultation on estimating social housing stock
  • Housing and Homelessness Data Working Group (intergovernmental council) – work supporting the Housing and Homelessness Data improvement Plan

In addition, AHURI research was heavily cited in the recent Productivity Commission recently published report Vulnerable Private Renters: Evidence and OptionsThe report examined the experience of vulnerable people in the private rental marketing as well as the policy settings of governments. The report follows AHURI’s Inquiry into the future of the private rental sector (PRS) completed in 2018 which took an in-depth view of Australia’s PRS focusing on the participating organisations and structures, institutional change, policies and regulation, and the social norms and practices, particularly relating to low-income households. The Inquiry also examined the PRS in ten countries - Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.