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National Cabinet agrees a new housing target, but no rent limits

National Cabinet agrees a new housing target, but no rent limits

National Cabinet rent limits

National Cabinet leaders from all states and territories have set a target to build an extra 200,000 homes by mid-2020 and to enact nationally-consistent rent laws, but stopped short of limits on rent increases.

200,000 more homes

Leaders agreed on a target to see 1.2 million homes built nationwide by mid-2029. This includes both private and public housing and is 200,000 more than the target agreed to last year.

The Federal Government has promised $3 billion in funding to reward jurisdictions that exceed their share of the target. The PM says this would encourage them to change laws to free up more housing supply.

The Federal Government will also provide $500 million to support new housing.

Rent supports but no limits

National Cabinet also agreed to implement several nationwide policies for renters, including limiting rent increases to once a year, and requiring landlords show “reasonable grounds” for evictions.

The only jurisdiction that does not already limit rent increases to once a year is the NT.

National Cabinet stopped short of agreeing to limit the size of rent increases, as the Greens had advocated for.

Housing bill

Today’s meeting comes as the Federal Government continues efforts to pass its housing bill, aimed at establishing an investment fund to build government-owned and low-rent housing.

The Coalition opposes the bill. The Greens refuse to support it unless the Government push for rent limits. Rental legislation is the responsibility of states and territories.

Speaking before the National Cabinet meeting, Greens Housing Spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather said if the Government did not implement rent limits, “every rent increase from [today] onwards will be on them”.

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