Govt Brief –EmpowerUs Australia housing initiative.
“The vast majority of Australians, 69.3% according to the bureau of statistics aspire one day to own a home – but today housing is less affordable than at any time in our history. Parents worry that their children will not be able to afford to buy a home of their own in the future. While there is no single way to improve housing affordability, there is a real need for national leadership and innovative policy solutions. One way is to improve the efficiency of the housing market itself. While the States and Territories have made a start, there is much more to do if we are to have a lasting impact. One of the Australian Government’s concerns in this area is the high holding costs that our planning systems impose on builders, which are in turn passed on in the cost of new homes. We owe it to home buyers to have planning processes that do not add unnecessary costs to housing development. We also need to look at some of the other upfront costs faced by developers that are ultimately passed on to home buyers – like infrastructure charges for the installation of sewerage, roads, parks and community facilities“.
The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP Minister for Housing
Housing affordability is at historic lows in Australia. Government intervention is required both to increase the supply of houses being constructed and to improve the efficiency of the housing market.
There is an assumption that there is no one way to improve housing affordability prior to 2018, however this assumption is now incorrect.
EmpowerUs Australia and its affiliate Manaia Fund have come up with a unique structure which allows every dwelling to become affordable which is done through the Guardianship structure rather than the ownership structure.
Guardianship and ownership are very similar in that they both require the tenant to pay for the maintenance costs and yearly government charges, and they also have a point where no more rental/ mortgage payments are required to be paid and the tenants can pass the properties down to a sibling or significant other.
The glaring difference is that an owner purchased his property and can sell it where a renter is only guarding it and has no rights to sell it.
Glenn Phelan from EmpowerUs says that it is essential to both the renters and the government that something needs to change and this new Manaian incentive has a major role to play in ushering in a change beneficial to both parties.
Guardianship will offer that lasting impact the Minister of Housing is looking for, and the existing housing tenants are already using, can be restructured to become Guardianship properties.
For tenants it is the uncertainty of renting than can cause many issue and so renters are more interested in long term rather than the standard 6 month sign-up period.
The Ministers concerns of high holding costs that the planning process imposes on builders can be minimised when the guardianship Manaia Fund purchases existing dwellings already in the market place, leaving the new properties to be obtained by those who can genuinely afford them.
Guardianship is unique that these costs of sewerage roads parks and community facilities have already been paid for on existing dwellings which mitigates that cost for most Manaia Fund guardianship homes.
Costs to manage rental properties are rising and maintenance is becoming more expensive as less people are able to legitimately allowed by law to be used as repairmen. These costs which have been quite costly for housing providers can be removed entirely through the use of the new guardianship alternative.
What is also unique is that these Manaia Funded properties can be anywhere in Australia and do not have to be specific to one area of location or to one department over another.
The Manaia Fund can hold Indigenous Handicapped Social Community and Public Housing Assets which in a sense transforms these into private housing assets, which has been created as a property holding company needing very little staff and it is assumed that no home will be vacated except for illegal activity.
Where we have Emergency housing then the tenants are moved to the next provider a guardianship home can become a one stop shop. We can even support the homeless if they also want housing and every guardian home can be as affordable as it needs to be.
A reduction of income is also driving the housing problem.
For the first time in recorded statistics, less than half of Australian workers are in a permanent full-time paid job with leave entitlements, according to research highlighting the rapid growth in insecure employment.
Analysis by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work found full-time paid jobs with normal leave entitlements fell to 49.97 per cent of all employment in 2017, from 51.35 per cent in 2012. Over the same period, the share of part-time jobs rose two percentage points to 31.7 per cent, the highest in Australian history, and the share of workers without paid leave entitlements in casual jobs added 1.6 percentage points to 25.1 per cent.
Underemployment, the number of workers who want more hours, jumped from 7.6 per cent to 9.1 per cent over the five years to 2017, while average hours worked each month fell from 141 to 139.7 equating to 1 week unpaid for the month.
The research by economists Tanya Carney and Jim Stanford, based on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data, concluded the traditional employment relationship based on permanent full-time work with entitlements such as paid leave and superannuation “has been chipped away on many sides”.
“Today, for the first time in recorded statistics, less than half of employed Australians work in a permanent full-time paid job with leave entitlements,’’ they said.
Dr Stanford said yesterday the fact that more than half of workers no longer fitted into the traditional stereotype of a permanent full-time paid job with entitlements showed “the world of work has really changed”.
“Less than half of Australians can imagine work with the sort of permanency and entitlements that we once took for granted,’’ he said. The percentage of casual employment had been “as high, a couple of times in history, at peak periods”.
“But I think it’s a mistake to focus on just that one particular indicator. Casual work has clearly grown over the last five years. It’s grown quite significantly but the bigger point is that all of the other dimensions of employment security have eroded away at the same time,’’ Dr Stanford said.
Workplace Minister Craig Laundy has said insecure work has not become more common, and employers maintain casual employment suits many workers who want flexible arrangements.
“Casual work is a completely appropriate way for many businesses and many employees to conduct their relationship,’’ he told ABC radio in March.
And Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has argued the rate of casual employment has “been the same for decades”.
The research found the share of Australians under 30 in full-time employment fell from 42.5 per cent in 2012 to 38.9 per cent in 2017. The share of private-sector workers covered by enterprise agreements fell one-third from 18.9 per cent to 12.4 per cent, and the share of workers under awards jumped from 16.6 per cent to 23.6 per cent.
Dr Stanford said many young people had internalised the fact that they might never have permanent jobs.
“If we let that become a reality, the consequences for family stability and household finances and home ownership … are going to be enormous,’’ he said. “Yes, we can celebrate flexibility, we can celebrate entrepreneurship but … we need something reliable if you are going to buy a house, send your kids to university and plan to retire with decency.
Do housing affordability issues correlate with the truth of the loss of permanence in work?
Guardianship is the White Knight and the pathway to mitigate permanent jobs because it leads to the need of less money per family once a family reaches guardian status saving a family 1/3rd of today`s normal living costs.
Guardianship allows for permanency in housing, fixed cost tenancies for minimum terms of 10years and flexible working hours whereas ownership has no renter stability and no way to stop rises of living costs leading to both parents to require permanent work which is now statistically much less common.
Both the consumer system and the Manaian way can build a useful working relationship which will not upset the present status quo.