Five housing measures in the Federal Budget


The Labor government will increase the rate of rent assistance available to almost one million renting households and pour billions of dollars of new funding into other housing-related measures in the 2024-25 Federal Budget.

"We know that building homes is hard work. It won't happen overnight. But increasing supply is the best and most lasting fix to Australia's housing shortage. We also need to help provide relief for renters who are under pressure," says Minister for Housing, Julie Collins.

Here are five of the housing measures that stood out in the budget.

federal budget 2024 housing affordability

1. Rent assistance

Nearly a million renting households across the country that are eligible to receive the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance will see their payments boosted by 10% following an announcement in the budget.

The government will spend $1.5 billion over five years to fund the change which comes on the back of a 15% increase last September.

2. Social housing funding

The government has allocated $9.3 billion over five years to support states and territories to repair existing social housing and provide funding to help combat homelessness. This is part of the new National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness which is due to start in July.

The government will also provide additional funding to support the building of 40,000 social and affordable homes in partnership with community housing providers.

3. Domestic violence crisis accommodation

Crisis and transitional accommodation for Australian women and children who are fleeing domestic violence will receive a $1 billion funding injection from the National Housing Infrastructure Facility.

The government says that this will come in addition to the funding allocated as part of the National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness.

4. Shared equity scheme 

The government has committed $5.5 billion in the budget towards its shared equity Help to Buy scheme for budding homebuyers on low and moderate incomes.

The initiative aims to give prospective homeowners the opportunity to enter the market with a lower deposit, with the government taking on an equity stake of up to 40% of the property's value. That equity stake would then be paid off by the buyer over time or when the property is sold.

Up to 40,000 people would be eligible to participate in the scheme if it gets up and running, but it's yet to be passed by parliament.

5. Housing-related infrastructure

As part of its aim to build 1.2 million homes over the next five years as part of the National Housing Accord, the federal government will provide an additional $1 billion in housing-related infrastructure funding to the states and territories.

It says the money will go towards building new roads, sewers, and energy-related infrastructure needed as new housing supply comes online.

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Tom Watson is a senior journalist at Money magazine, and one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. He's previously worked as a journalist covering everything from property and consumer banking to financial technology. Tom has a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Technology, Sydney.