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Building the recovery: Investment in social housing will create thousands of jobs and improve social outcomes

Posted June 05, 2020

SGS Economics and Planning social housing nth melb

New modelling by SGS Economics and Planning released this week by the Community Housing Industry Association and National Shelter demonstrates how investing in a four-year social house building program of 30,000 homes will create on average up to 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs each year.

The proposed a $7.7 billion Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP) plans to build, or upgrade, 30,000 homes over four years and create around 18,000 full-time-equivalent jobs each year.

Terry Rawnsley, SGS Principal and Partner who led the modelling said investment in social housing has a multiplier effect.

SGS Economics and Planning Terry Rawnsley

Building homes has wide reaching impact beyond on site jobs, it makes a call on a host of services from equipment hire to waste removal. All this activity will have positive multiplier effects through local and regional economies, as construction and local supplier employees spend their newfound wages at local cafes, stores and even a weekend away.

— SGS Principal & Partner Terry Rawnsley

Essential accommodation for those with the lowest incomes and the highest needs is the most undersupplied sector of Australian housing. Community Housing Industry Association Chief Executive Wendy Hayhurst said the program would not only deliver better homes to those in need but also secure jobs for thousands of Australians.

W hayhurst

With the period 2021-22 earmarked as an anticipated economic weak point, the program would create up to 24,500 jobs both on-site and in the wider building services industry. The federal government has stated that we have to maintain a laser-like focus on jobs to get Australia moving and this new modelling shows that SHARP does just that. Whether it be new investment in social housing, or whether it be upgrades and renovations of social housing. And it should not be forgotten as part of a comprehensive package which is needed.

— Community Housing Industry Association Chief Executive Wendy Hayhurst

It is estimated SHARP would raise output in Australia by at least $15.7 billion over the four years of construction and increase GDP by anywhere between $5.8 billion to $6.7 billion.

The SHARP involves:

  • Wave 1 – social housing maintenance and upgrading
  • Wave 2 – acquisition of sites and properties requiring renovation/completion which are suitable for social housing
  • Wave 3 – shovel ready development projects
  • Wave 4 – longer-term new development projects

The program calls for total government investment of $7.7 billion; $7.2 billion for new build/acquisition and $500 million for the renovation of existing homes. Commonwealth contributions should be complemented by state/territory governments in the form of land and/or capital and local governments may also make a valuable contribution.

Download the report

SGS Economics and Planning SHARP Report Cover